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November Debate Taking Shape With Eight Qualifiers

Three of these September debaters haven’t qualified for the November event in Georgia. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Even as contestants prepare for next week’s 12-candidate Democratic debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, the November event is beginning to come together as well, NBC News reports:

MSNBC and The Washington Post will co-host the fifth Democratic presidential primary debate in Georgia next month, MSNBC announced Tuesday.

The debate will take place in prime time on Nov. 20, and will air live on MSNBC and Radio One. It will also stream on and the Post’s website, as well as across mobile devices via NBC News and the Post’s mobile apps and Urban One’s digital platforms.

The specific location, venue, format and moderators will be announced at a later date.

The Democratic National Committee toughened the polling and fundraising thresholds for this fifth debate, as I noted last month:

The thresholds for “grassroots fundraising” didn’t change that much: Candidates must now show they have at some point in the cycle raised money from 160,000 donors (as opposed to 130,000, previously) with at least 600 (previously 400) in 20 states …

Nor will the new polling requirements (3 percent in four specified national or early state polls, or 5 percent in two early state polls, beginning with polls taken last week and running until seven days before the November debate) represent a problem for the stronger candidates, who almost always poll above three percent (a group that currently includes Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris. But some next-tier hopefuls could experience some problems.

At this point, eight candidates have qualified for the November stage: the aforementioned five polling champs, plus Cory Booker, Tom Steyer, and Andrew Yang (who got his fourth qualifying poll just today). Others have until November 13 to make the cut. As Politico reports, it’s looking a bit dicey for some, including four who will be on the stage in Ohio next week:

Currently, more than a dozen candidates are still short of the qualification thresholds, including four who will be on stage next week in Ohio: Julián Castro, Tulsi Gabbard, Amy Klobuchar and Beto O’Rourke. Those four have all said they’ve cleared the 165,000 donor threshold required for the debate, but each needs at least three more 3-percent polls to qualify.

It would be a good time for the October debaters who are November non-qualifiers to make a splash.

November Debate: Who’s In, Who’s Out?