Tulsi Gabbard Qualifies For Upcoming Presidential Debate


Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) has officially met the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) threshold to qualify for the upcoming Democratic presidential primary debate in October.

In order to nab a podium on the next debate state in Westerville, Ohio, presidential candidates must raise campaign donations from no fewer than 130,000 individual donors and receive at least 2% of the vote in four or more polls that have been pre-approved by the DNC.

A certified poll conducted by Monmouth University shows that the Hawaii congresswoman received 2% support in the early voting state of New Hampshire. The poll, released on Tuesday, marks the final benchmark that she needed to overcome on order to receive an invitation onto the stage.

Gabbard is now the twelfth presidential hopeful to meet the qualifying threshold and subsequently accept an invitation onto the debate stage: Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), financier Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and entrepreneur Andrew Yang will also be participating.

Notably, both Steyer and Gabbard failed to meet the criteria to appear in September’s debate in Houston, Texas.

Gabbard, however, has been an outspoken critic of the DNC’s lack of transparency and arbitrary determination of which polls are deemed eligible for qualification purposes. Her campaign urged the DNC to reconsider their criteria and further slammed the organization for hindering conversations “between future leaders of this country.”

“The DNC set a threshold that candidates must meet at least 2% in four DNC-certified polls in order to qualify for the third and fourth Democratic primary debates,” the campaign wrote in a statement in August. “However, the DNC has not released their criteria for selecting the 16 polling organizations they deem ‘certifiable.'”

“Rep. Gabbard has exceeded the 2% support in 26 national and early state polls, but only two of them are on the DNC’s ‘certified’ list,” the statement continued at the time. “Many of the uncertified polls, including those conducted by highly reputable organizations such as The Economist and The Boston Globe are ranked by Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight as more accurate than some ‘certified’ polls.”

Gabbard is likely to be the final presidential contender to receive an invitation onto the fourth debate stage. Qualifications for participating in the event end on October 1 and author Marianne Williamson is the only remaining candidate to have passed the donor threshold. Williamson, however, is still three DNC-approved polls short of hitting the benchmark.

The DNC announced on Monday that it will be raising the criteria for the fifth debate in an attempt to further narrow down the crowded Democratic primary field.

In order to receive an invitation onto November’s debate stage, presidential candidates must raise campaign donations from no fewer than 165,000 individual donors. In addition, they must also receive at least 3% of the vote in four general DNC-approved polls and 5% in two early-state polls — such as those in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, or South Carolina.