Second Democratic Primary Debate: See Which Candidates Made...
The 20 Democratic presidential candidates who have qualified for the July 30 and 31 two-night debate looks a lot like those who made the stage last month, with one exception.
Last week California Rep. Eric Swalwell became the first major candidate to end his White House bid, and now it's Montana Gov. Steve Bullock — after only narrowly missing the mark last time — who will take his place.
The criteria for the second debate was the same as the first, requiring hopefuls to meet either a polling or fundraising benchmark. A candidate must register at least 1 percent in three polls recognized by the Democratic National Committee. Or the candidates must have 65,000 donors, with at least 200 donors in 20 different states.
Fourteen candidates met both requirements — former Vice President Joe Biden, California Sen. Kamala Harris, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, author and spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.
The remaining six candidates made the cut solely due to their standing in the polls, but did not meet the donor threshold — Bullock, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan.
Former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel qualified based on donations alone, but under the DNC formula polling is given greater weight, thus he didn't make the cut off, which was set at 20 candidates, with 10 debating per night. Gravel recently announced that he was ending his bid.
The other major candidates left off the stage include Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton and Miramar, Fla., Mayor Wayne Messam. Former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak, who just entered the race late last month, and billionaire executive and activist Tom Steyer, who reversed his initial decision to pass on the race last week, also haven't qualified, with little time to register in polls or raise money.
CNN, which is hosting this next series of debates in Detroit, will hold a live drawing on Thursday at 8 p.m. ET to determine which candidates will appear on which night. That's where the real shake-up will happen, shuffling which White House hopefuls get to face-off against each other — and who will have a chance to take aim at the top tier candidates.
In the first debate, Harris seized her chance against Biden in the second night of the debate. She went after him over his past opposition to mandated busing to integrate schools in the 1970s, and Biden faltered in his response. That helped her rise in many polls.
On the first debate night, Castro found a chance to emerge from the pack after taking a firm stance on decriminalizing illegal border crossings and taking on his fellow Texan O'Rourke's reluctance to back such a change. Castro saw his fundraising surge while O'Rourke has continued to struggle.
The stakes of performing well in the July debate could be high for several candidates.
The criteria for the third debate in September is expected to winnow the field further, with the DNC raising the bar. Candidates will have to register at least two percent in at least four national or statewide polls recognized by the committee, and get donations from at least 130,000 unique donors, along with 400 unique donors in 20 states. If a candidate does not hit both benchmarks, they will be off the stage.