The DNC Apparently Wants This to Last Forever

Far too many people on stage at the Sept. 12 Democratic presidential primary debate in Houston.
Photo: Eric Gay/AP

The Democratic National Committee has tightened its qualifications for the primary debates once again, perhaps to no avail.

According to Politico, the DNC’s criteria for candidates to qualify for the fifth (sigh) round of presidential primary debates in November include: polling 3 percent in four DNC-approved polls, or 5 percent in two approved state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina, the first four states to hold primaries and caucuses. Previously, the polling threshold for the debates in September and October was set at 2 percent.

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Candidates must also receive donations from 165,000 donors—an increase of 35,000 unique donors from the previous and upcoming debate—as well as 600 unique donors in 20 different states, territories, or Washington, D.C.

Despite this, Politico characterized the changes as “unlikely to lead to a significant reduction in the number of participating candidates.” So if you’re a fan of these two-night, four-hour spectaculars, you’re in luck!

After saving us from another of those in September, where we actually got to see every candidate who has a snowball’s chance in hell of winning (and a few who don’t) on the same stage, the DNC similarly fucked up in its October debate qualifications. After much bellyaching from the likes of Michael Bennet and Steve Bullock over the qualification threshold for the third debate, the DNC gave candidates who didn’t make the September debate more time to meet those same wonky qualifications even though they couldn’t get it together the first time around.

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With any hope, we will be saved by the candidates who choose to drop out between then and now. In advance, I thank them for their noble but necessary self-sacrifice.

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About the author

Samantha Grasso

Splinter Staff Writer, Texan