Debate on the debates: 2020 Dems infringe the criteria of the DNC while the cutoff is looming


Call it the debate before the debates.

As the deadline is approaching for the 2020 White House candidates to qualify for the first two rounds of primary debate organized by the Democratic National Committee, some of the candidates who are getting ready to go on stage are becoming more and more in demand. more frustrated by the criteria of the DNC.

And with the recent announcement by the party's national committee, it will be more difficult for contenders to organize the debates for the third and fourth rounds of debate – by raising the thresholds that need to be eliminated – some of the lower-ranked candidates are lamenting the DNC for "Vanner the field."


Presidential candidates have until Wednesday to cross one of two thresholds to qualify for the first two rounds, which will take place later this month and at the end of July.

To date, 14 candidates have met the criteria of the survey and the donor criterion, guaranteeing them one of the 20 places available. But with a historically huge field of nearly two dozen suitors, some will fail.

Among them, the Montana governor, Steve Bullock, one of the last candidates to embark on the race. His campaign criticized the "dark rules" of the DNC.

Matt McKenna, an experienced Democratic strategist who advises Bullock, told Fox News: "Governor Bullock has fallen behind to participate in the race because he was doing something that only a small number of people on the ground seem to spend all his time to govern. Because he decided to do his job, 100,000 Montanais have access to health care. If he had to make that decision again, extend Medicaid or make sure he complied with the dark rules of the DNC, he would not do anything else. "

The Massachusetts representative, Seth Moulton, should not let it go either.

"No, I will not do the first debate, but I knew it when I came in so late. But I think it will be fine, "said Moulton last week on Hugh Hewitt's nationally broadcast radio show. "This first debate will have 20 people. People will hardly have the opportunity to talk. "

Trying to minimize the opportunity to take part in debates that will be viewed by millions of Americans, Moulton said the candidacy "will not be decided by the National Democratic Committee in its debates. The American people will decide. "

Miramar, Florida, Mayor Wayne Messam, who is pretty much unknown.


The thresholds for the first two debates – announced by the DNC in January – include reaching 1% in three polls recognized by the party's national committee, or receiving contributions from at least 65,000 unique donors and 200 unique donors. in at least 20 states.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand of New York City became the 14th candidate to meet both criteria last weekend after breaking the 65,000 mark.

"These are strict rules to follow, so you have to win them," she told Fox News.

The other members ensured a place in one of the two consecutive debates at prime time, with 10 candidates each night, are former vice president Joe Biden; Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg; former Texas representative Beto O'Rourke; the former Mayor of San Antonio and the former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Julian Castro; Tulsi Gabbard from Hawaii; and the Governor of Washington State, Jay Inslee.

Two less known competitors, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and best-selling spiritual author Marianne Williamson, join them in the debate.

Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper, Ohio representative Tim Ryan, California representative Eric Swalwell, former Maryland representative John Delaney, reached one of two thresholds – the poll criteria – and the Mayor of New York City, Bill de Blasio.

But the DNC raises the bar for the third and fourth rounds – which will take place in September and October. Applicants must receive contributions from at least 130,000 unique donors, as well as 400 unique donors in at least 20 states. And they must rank at least 2% in four polls accepted by the national committee.

The rise of the bar is infuriating for candidates who have worked hard to succeed in the first two rounds.

"I do not think the DNC should win the ground early in the process," Bennet told Fox News last month. "Starting to work in the field so early in the process is not, in my opinion, the best way to do it, because the American people must have the chance to see you."

Ryan agreed, telling Fox News "to start gaining ground so early in the process, this is not the best way to do it, because the Americans must be able to see you."

Ryan added, "It's probably a bit premature to start isolating people," he said. "That's what it is, the rules are what they are, I will not complain about them."

Delaney is also frustrated because he has largely self-financed his campaign.

Last week, he wrote to the DNC to ask him to be more transparent in order to reveal how he defined the criteria.

"The DNC plays a portal role and creates a filter to determine which candidates can make their case to the American people," he said.

Williamson wrote a similar word when he told Fox News last month: "I do not think political parties should be guardians. They should be conduits and channels that should serve the process, not design the process. "

Castro, in an interview with Fox News last week, warned that "the DNC had to be careful at the timing of any winnowing … it had to be careful not to do the business that people will do themselves. "

And Blasio told NY1 Monday night: "I hope the DNC will remember that it's always better to be inclusive."

For the DNC, facing nearly two dozen candidates is an unknown water. The Democratic group easily broke the record of 18 Republicans in the running for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

DNC President Tom Perez described the lifting of the normal threshold procedure.

"If you can not run an effective grassroots campaign in 2020, at this time you will not be able to win the presidency," Perez told CBS News. "And our double threshold was to give the candidates an extra chance."

"What we wanted to do was make sure we had multiple opportunities to present their vision to the American people, and then, as happens with every primary cycle, you have to demonstrate progress, and that's in September that one speaks of, "he added.

A number of candidates do not argue with the DNC.

Among them is Klobuchar.

"I agree with that," she told Fox News on Monday as she campaigned in New Hampshire, the country's first state.

While stressing that she "likes to have open and free debates," the senator suggested that nearly two dozen candidates might be too painful for primary voters.

"I think for voters … it's hard to make a decision when there are so many people," she said. "I think it's important, as we get closer to Iowa and New Hampshire, to South Carolina and Nevada, that people can pick and listen to the candidates and see them go. debate, not just consecutive night. "

It is not only the criteria of the debate that disturb some candidates. These are also the issues debated.

Inslee, who has made the fight against climate change the main issue of his presidential campaign, is frustrated by the DNC's refusal to hold a debate on global warming alone.

"This is deeply disappointing," Inslee said. "The DNC is silencing the voices of Democratic activists, many progressive partner organizations and nearly half of the Democratic presidential party representatives who want to debate the existential crisis of our time. Democratic voters say that climate change is their main problem. "


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