Are Bennet And Hickenlooper In The 1st Democratic Presidential Primary Debate?

<p>Photo Illustration Jim Hill, Hart Van Denburg/CPR News</p>
Photo: Bennet-Hickenlooper Debate Infographic 05-16-2019

Updated: June 13, 4:56 p.m.: Both John Hickenlooper and Sen. Michael Bennet made the cut for the first debates. Our original story continues below:

The plentiful field of Democrats vying to be president seems to grow every day. At last count 22, no 23 candidates (Hello, de Blasio), have declared their intention to run for the White House.

The first hurdle of what promises to be a long campaign season will be the Presidential Primary Debate scheduled for June 26 and 27 in Miami. The two-night event will feature 10 candidates each night, chosen at random, making their case why they should be the nominee to take on President Donald Trump.

But first, they have to get in. There are only 20 spots available.

How Do You Qualify?

Democratic National Committee rules say that a candidate can qualify for the debate by if they meet thresholds either for polling or fundraising. In the event that more than 20 meet the qualifications, the DNC will first consider those who meet both qualifications, then the highest polling average and finally most unique donors.

Polling: Candidates must earn support of 1 percent or better in three separate public polls between Jan. 1 2019, and June 12. The DNC has a shortlist of approved polls that they will consider.

Fundraising: A candidate needs 65,000 unique donors and a minimum of 200 unique donors in at least 20 states.

Unofficial Bennet: YES

Sen. Michael Bennet got into the race late after Joe Biden made his big splash. The senator’s announcement came May 1, which followed the last filing deadline for campaign contributions. Bennet’s campaign hasn’t said that they’ve met the fundraising goal but is actively advertising online that “we need donations from 65,000 supporters to get to the debate stage.”

Politico reports that Bennet has met the polling threshold with 1 percent showings in the following polls: March 9 Des Moines Register/Mediacom/CNN, May 15 Reuters/Ipsos and the June 4 CNN.

Unofficial Hickenlooper: YES

Colorado’s former governor appears to have met the polling standard with a right-on-the-money 1 percent in the following polls: March 19 CNN, March 28 Quinnipiac, April 24 Ipsos/Reuters and May 9 Monmouth.

The latest donation filing from Hickenlooper’s campaign showed him with only 1,330 individual donors and one state — Colorado — with more than 200 donors. Like Bennet, Hickenlooper is currently fundraising on gathering enough contributors to meet the debate ceiling.

Beyond the first debates, the path forward for all Democratic candidates becomes a lot harder when it comes to the debate scheduled in September. The DNC has tightened the qualifications needed to get into the debate in hopes of winnowing the field.

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