November 22, 2019, 4:55

6th Democratic primary debate to be held in mid-December at UCLA: DNC

6th Democratic primary debate to be held in mid-December at UCLA: DNC

The sixth Democratic primary debate, and final one of 2019, will be held at the University of California, Los Angeles, the Democratic National Committee announced Friday.

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PBS NewsHour and POLITICO will co-host the debate on Dec. 19, which will air live on PBS from the Luskin School of Public Affairs. It will also be livestreamed on PBS NewsHour digital, mobile and connected TV platforms, and on Politico’s website and social media platforms. The moderators and format of the debate will be announced at a later date.

The DNC also announced the thresholds candidates will have to meet in order to qualify for the debate. The remaining 18 candidates vying for the nomination will have to reach an even higher mark than they do for the fifth debate on Nov. 20 in Georgia.

(MORE: 5th Democratic debate to be held in Georgia on Nov. 20: DNC)

Like the September, October and November debates, candidates will have to meet two thresholds — a grassroots fundraising threshold and polling threshold — to secure a spot on stage in Los Angeles.

In order to meet that fundraising threshold, candidates must have at least 200,000 unique donors, and a minimum of 800 individual donors per state in at least 20 states. This is a significant increase from the November debate’s 165,000 unique donor and 600 individual donors per state threshold.

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Democratic candidates participate of the fourth Democratic primary debate of the 2020 presidential campaign season co-hosted by The New York Times and CNN at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio on October 15, 2019.

Candidates have two ways to meet the polling threshold to qualify for the sixth debate. They can meet the polling threshold by getting at least 4% support — an increase from 3% support to qualify for November’s debate — in four national polls or polls out of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and/or South Carolina. The polls must be conducted by an organization on a list of approved sponsors from the DNC, including the Associated Press; ABC News/Washington Post; CBS News/YouGov; CNN; Des Moines Register; Fox News; Monmouth University; National Public Radio; NBC News/Wall Street Journal; NBC News/Marist; New York Times; Quinnipiac University; University of New Hampshire; USA Today/Suffolk University and Winthrop University.

(MORE: 5 key takeaways from the 4th Democratic debate)

In order to count as a qualifying poll, the polls must be sponsored by different organizations, or if they are sponsored by the same organization, they must be covering different geographical areas.

The second way to reach the polling threshold is by getting at least 6% support — an increase from 5% support to qualify for November’s debate — in two early state polls. The same list of sponsors applies, but candidates can have two qualifying polls from the same organization and/or from the same geographical area.

The polls must be released between Oct. 16 and 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 12 in order to count.

Candidates also have until 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 12 to hit the donor threshold, according to the DNC.

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Former Vice President Joe Biden challenges Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University on October 15, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio.

There have only been four qualifying polls released so far, but three candidates have already met the fundraising threshold for the next debate, according to their campaigns. Several have also already met the polling threshold, according to an ABC News analysis, including former Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

Four campaigns have also already secured enough individual donors to reach the fundraising threshold for December, according to their campaigns: South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, California Sen. Kamala Harris, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

(MORE: Rep. Tim Ryan announces end to 2020 presidential campaign)

Buttigieg and Harris also each have three qualifying polls, according to an ABC News analysis, so they’re only one poll away from joining the three front-runners in Los Angeles.

Yang and O’Rourke have not yet secured any qualifying polls for December’s debate, but Yang has qualified for the November debate, and O’Rourke just needs two more polls at 3% support to qualify, too, according to an ABC News analysis.

While he hasn’t reached the donor threshold yet, billionaire businessman Tom Steyer, who has pursued an aggressive and expensive advertising campaign since joining the Democratic primary field in July, has only one qualifying poll so far.

Before December, though, voters will see at least nine candidates on stage together for the fourth primary debate set to be co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post, and moderated by an all-female panel: NBC News anchor and chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow, NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Walker and Washington Post White House correspondent Ashley Parker. The format of the debate and where in Georgia it will be held have yet to be announced.

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Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and former Vice President Joe Biden raise their hands during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University on October 15, 2019 in Westerville, Ohio.

The candidates who have qualified for the next debate are: Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Buttigieg, Harris, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Sanders, Steyer, Warren and Yang.

(MORE: Trump campaign scoops up Biden’s Latino voter web address, trolls his voter outreach)

In addition to O’Rourke’s progress on meeting the polling threshold, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, who announced Friday that she won’t pursue re-election for her House seat, has one qualifying poll for the next debate. Like O’Rourke, she’s also met the individual donor threshold, so she needs three more polls to qualify, according to the ABC News analysis.

Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro has also met the donor threshold, according to his campaign, but has yet to secure any qualifying polls. On Monday, Castro made a fundraising plea to supporters, hoping to raise at least $800,000 by Oct. 31.

He told ABC News Thursday that he if doesn’t reach his goal, he is “very likely” to drop out of the race. He has raised $233,000 since announcing the goal.

Candidates have until Nov. 13 at 11:59 p.m. to qualify for the next debate.


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