Find Us


Which candidates have qualified for the January Democratic debate?

Image: Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Jo
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg have all qualified for the Democratic presidential debate on Jan. 14, 2020. Copyright Chelsea Stahl NBC News
Copyright Chelsea Stahl NBC News
By Ben Kamisar and Robin Muccari and Alex Seitz-Wald with NBC News Politics
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

Five candidates have qualified so far for the January Democratic debate in Des Moines, Iowa, sponsored by CNN and The Des Moines Register.


WASHINGTON — January's Democratic presidential debate stage may be the smallest one yet, as a handful of candidates who had appeared in previous debates are on the verge of missing out.

Candidates have through Friday, Jan. 10, to qualify, and those who have already clinched a podium are:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Former Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren

In order to qualify, candidates have to both raise money from 225,000 unique donors (with at least 1,000 each in 20 states) and meet one of two polling thresholds.

#embed-20191230-7th-debate-candidate-cards iframe {width: 1px;min-width: 100%}

Candidates can hit that polling mark with either four different polls of at least 5 percent, or two polls from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada of at least 7 percent. All polls have to be from the DNC's approved list of sponsor organizations, and either from separate sponsors or from different regions if relying on two polls from the same sponsor.

Businessman Andrew Yang, billionaire Tom Steyer and New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker have all hit the donor threshold but haven't hit the requisite number of polls.

Yang and Steyer both appeared on the December debate stage, while Booker last appeared on the stage in November.

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has hit the polling threshold, but the billionaire is not soliciting individual donations, which will make it all but impossible for him to qualify.

The lineup is unofficial until the DNC certifies the field, and the donor totals are based on candidates' public self-reporting figures.

The debate will be in Des Moines, Iowa, sponsored by CNN and The Des Moines Register.

Share this articleComments