How the Democratic party will stage its primary debates
Candidates will be chosen based on the percent of support in polls and the number of donations they receive.
WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee has announced that it will limit the number of presidential debate participants to 20 candidates. The debates will be held in June and July on two separate consecutive nights depending on the number of candidates who qualify.
The Associated Press reports that candidates will qualify for the debate if they earn at least 1 percent support in three separate national or early primary state polls conducted from January 1 to two weeks before the debate.
They can also qualify if they receive campaign donations from 65,000 people across 20 different states, with a minimum of 200 unique donors per state. Candidates will be assigned randomly to the two stages regardless of their polling percentages.
Efforts for a fairer and less poll-driven selection process for the nominees comes after voters in the 2016 elections felt the DNC was biased against the then outsider Senator Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton won the primary but went on to lose to Republican candidate Donald Trump.
These claims stemmed mainly from allegations by former DNC chair Donna Brazile. In her book Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House, Brazile accuses Clinton of rigging the primary elections in her favor by signing a joint fundraising agreement with the DNC and the Hillary Victory Fund.
The exact dates and locations for the debates are yet to be confirmed. The DNC announced that NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo will broadcast the June debates on back-to-back nights, and CNN will broadcast the July debate on back-to-back nights. There will be a total of 12 debates.
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