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.

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Katherine J. Igoe
Contributing Editor

Katherine’s a contributing syndications editor at Marie Claire who covers fashion, culture, and lifestyle. In her role, she writes stories that are syndicated by MSN and other outlets. She’s been a full-time freelancer for over a decade and has had roles with Cosmopolitan (where she covered lifestyle, culture, and fashion SEO content) and Bustle (where she was their movies and culture writer). She has bylines in New York TimesParentsInStyle, Refinery29, and elsewhere. Her work has also been syndicated by ELLEHarper’s BazaarSeventeenGood Housekeeping, and Women’s Health, among others. In addition to her stories reaching millions of readers, content she's written and edited has qualified for a Bell Ringer Award and received a Communicator Award. 

Katherine has a BA in English and art history from the University of Notre Dame and an MA in art business from the Sotheby's Institute of Art (with a focus on marketing/communications). She covers a wide breadth of topics: she's written about how to find the very best petite jeanshow sustainable travel has found its footing on Instagram, and what it's like to be a professional advice-giver in the modern world. Her personal essays have run the gamut from learning to dress as a queer woman to navigating food allergies as a mom. She also has deep knowledge of SEO/EATT, affiliate revenue, commerce, and social media; she regularly edits the work of other writers. She speaks at writing-related events and podcasts about freelancing and journalism, mentors students and other new writers, and consults on coursework. Currently, Katherine lives in Boston with her husband and two kids, and you can follow her on Instagram. If you're wondering about her last name, it’s “I go to dinner,” not “Her huge ego,” but she responds to both.