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Democratic Debate Criteria Changed for Next Round of Debates

I guess having 20/24 candidates on stage is too much?

Getting older in this political era is quite interesting.  I was in college for the 2016 election  and I don’t really remember the media focusing so much on the minutia of election politics in 2016 or 2012 for that matter.  I couldn’t tell you about any of the primary debates in 2008 or 2004. I have no idea if the DNC and RNC felt the need to compress the field then.

2016 set a new standard for the absurdity of a crowded field.  Just when we thought it couldn’t get any more insane, 2020 popped up and said hello.

Now, the party seeking to defeat President Trump finds itself in a numerical quandary.

How do you give every candidate an opportunity to speak while at the same time stirring the masses toward a viable candidate? Are the candidates just clumps of cells right now?

The Associated Press is reporting that the DNC revamped its criteria for making the debate stage in the next round of primary debates.

The Democratic National Committee is upping the ante for its second round of presidential primary debates, doubling the polling and grassroots fundraising requirements from its initial summer debates.

The parameters, announced Wednesday, are likely to help cull a crop of 24 candidates and, in the process, intensify scrutiny on Democratic Chairman Tom Perez and his pledge to give all candidates a chance to be heard .

The DNC’s outline for its September debate — the third of at least a dozen promised matchups during the 2020 nominating fight — decrees that candidates can participate only by reaching 2% in four approved polls released between June 28 and Aug. 28 while also collecting contributions from a minimum of 130,000 unique donors before Aug. 28. That donor list must include a minimum of 400 individuals in at least 20 states. The qualifications would remain the same for an October debate, though the party hasn’t set the deadline for measuring fundraising and polling.

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how Cory Booker was urging others to help out Gillibrand’s campaign so that she could make it onto the first stage.  What sort of knight-in-shining-armor stories will we find in the future?  Will Sanders’ campaign urge his followers to keep Marianne Williamson afloat since we need to hear her opinion on the spiritual energy of the life energy of those who want to be set free from their fear of the astral plane and the evil that comes from not actualizing their full potential as inherently good children of the universe?

But that collective spirit might wear thin.  Who do the front-runners help?  How long are they willing to help bring others up to their level?  Or at least to the level required to make it on to the next debate?

Will the communists suddenly embrace free market competition?

The AP adds,

As the race stands, the top of the field likely would not be threatened by upping the threshold. That includes former Vice President Joe Biden; Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas; and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana.

However, the other candidates, including more senators and several governors, remain jumbled at or near the lower thresholds set for the first two debates.

Perez has from the outset of debate planning promised an open, fair process, acknowledging the criticism leveled at the DNC during the 2016 primary process, marred by allegations that then-Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and other party officials favored Hillary Clinton over Sanders.

Besides the increased thresholds, it’s significant that candidates must meet both the polling and fundraising marks in the next round. For the first two sessions, a candidate can qualify by meeting one or the other.

That’ll put pressure on candidates ranging from unconventional hopefuls like entrepreneur Andrew Yang and author Marianne Williamson to established politicians like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Govs. Steve Bullock of Montana and Jay Inslee of Washington.

I am 100% certain that in time, the candidates will gladly turn on each other.  Losers will attack the DNC for shutting out the little guy.  Front-runners will attack the DNC for preserving the chances of nobodies.

Despite the prominence of Biden and Sanders, there is no way to know who the real front-runner is going to be.  And for that reason, changing the debate criteria is going to make this ugly.

The first debate is June 26.


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