WASHINGTON — The Democratic National Committee on Monday rejected a request from presidential presidential candidate Andrew Yang to commission four early state qualifying polls ahead of the next Democratic debate in Iowa on Jan. 14.
Yang made the proposal in a letter dated December 21 to DNC Chairman Tom Perez, and obtained Monday by NBC News, in which he argued that a "diverse set of candidate might be absent from the stage in Des Moines for reasons out of anyone's control."
"It has been 38 days since a qualifying poll in Iowa, New Hampshire, or Nevada was taken. As you know, big shifts can happen within short periods in this race, as we've already witnessed multiple times," Yang wrote.
Yang then asked for the DNC to commission polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina by Jan. 10.
"It would provide an accurate snapshot of the current state of the race and where voters' hearts and minds are, thus getting ahead of an imminent problem," he said.
The DNC doesn't typically do public polls. They usually conduct them for their own internal purposes and don't release them. In a statement later on Monday, the DNC said it would not sponsor additional polls.
"The DNC has been more than inclusive throughout this entire process with an expansive list of qualifying polls, including 26 polls for the December debate, more than half of which were state polls," Deputy Communications Director Adrienne Watson said in a statement. "The DNC will not sponsor its own debate qualifying polls of presidential candidates during a primary. This would break with the long-standing practice of both parties using independent polling for debate qualification, and it would be an inappropriate use of DNC resources that should be directed at beating Donald Trump."
A day before Yang's letter, the DNC had announced new higher thresholds that candidates needed to reach in order to qualify for the January debate which require them to have 225,000 unique donors as well as show 5 percent or more support in at least four national or single-state polls in early voting states Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada. Candidates could also qualify by reaching 7 percent or more support in two single-state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
Yang is expected to pull in a Q4 fundraising haul of at least $12.5 million from 1 million contributions and nearly 400,000 donors, figures confirmed to NBC News by the campaign.
So far, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., appear to have met the qualifying thresholds for the January debate, according to NBC News political unit's analysis. Yang's campaign says he's hit the 225,000 donor threshold but has only hit 5 percent in one poll.