dem debate

The most recent Democratic presidential debate on Oct. 15 featured the largest field of candidates onstage in history. Candidates discussed topics varying from health care to gun control. 

Another presidential debate is set for 8 p.m. Wednesday on MSNBC.

In order to qualify for this debate, candidates needed to meet a polling and fundraising criteria. The qualification threshold for Wednesday’s debate was achieving at least 3 percent support in four polls of national Democratic primary voters or voters in the four early voting states, or 5 percent in polls of those states. These early voting states are Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

Candidates also needed to receive at least 165,000 donations from unique donors. Out of these 165,000 unique donations, at least 600 unique donors were needed from at least 20 different states.

Based on those requirements, the candidates participating in the November debate are:

  • Joe Biden

  • Cory Booker

  • Pete Buttigieg

  • Tulsi Gabbard

  • Kamala Harris

  • Amy Klobuchar

  • Bernie Sanders

  • Tom Steyer

  • Elizabeth Warren

  • Andrew Yang

Steffen Schmidt, professor of political science, said with 10 candidates qualifying there are many things that can set the candidates apart on the debate stage.

“The top four need to stay steady and try to build on what they are doing well,” Schmidt said. “The low polling candidates need to make a dramatic case why they are the best to beat Donald Trump. That’s a tough job because no one can say for sure what will work.”

Some debates do matter for certain political candidates individually, Schmidt said.

“Mayor Pete’s rise to first in Iowa polls [is in part] because he was so focused, calm and informed in his debate answers,” Schmidt said.

Even though Schmidt said he thinks there has been too many debates, he thinks this one is different.

“This one is different because 10 Democrats are desperate to surge in this debate,” Schmidt said.

Schmidt said it is important for students to pay attention to this debate.

“Because so much that affects student lives is determined by politics,” Schmidt said. “Also, the lives of their parents [and] grandparents depend [...] on things like Medicare, social security and climate change. Also national debt is soaring and students will have to pay down that debt taking money from their pockets and reducing their standard of living.”

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