Who Will Qualify for the Next Debate?

The bar for entry on the fall Democratic presidential primary debates is higher. Thus far, only a handful candidates have qualified. Here's who they are.


Finally, the road to the presidential election of 2020 is starting to thin—from the many Democratic candidates we started out with to a more condensed and streamlined pool of applicants. The bar for entry on the fall primary debates is higher, and thus far only 10 candidates have qualified. So let's talk about who's in the race so far, whether other candidates might make the cut between now and then, and how the candidates are stacking up against each other in the polls.

First of all, how does one qualify for the debate? Well, a candidate must get at least two percent in four polls approved by the DNC and have donations from 130,000 unique donors.


These next debates take place in Houston on September 12 and 13. It's less than a month away, so it's really crunch time for the candidates. Only 10 to 12 candidates are likely to make this third round, according to a New York Times polls analysis.

There have only been ten candidates who have qualified for the fall debates:

Don't see your candidate on this list? There's still time for you to show support, either through donations or by voting for them in the polls. Candidates only have until August 28 to qualify, though, so time is of the essence.

According to a CNN poll for 8/20, the top five are as follows:

But that's not the only poll, and these numbers will continue to change rapidly—especially as candidates leave the race and voters find another candidate to potentially support.

We'll update the post as the race continues.

For more stories like this, including celebrity news, beauty and fashion advice, savvy political commentary, and fascinating features, sign up for the Marie Claire newsletter.


Katherine J. Igoe

Katherine’s a Boston-based contributor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle—from “Clueless” to Everlane to news about Lizzo. She’s been a freelancer for 11 years and has had roles with Cosmopolitan and Bustle, with bylines in Parents, Seventeen, and elsewhere. It’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.