When Is the Next Democratic Debate? Schedule, Requirements and Qualified Candidates

In November, qualifying presidential candidates will have another opportunity to share their policy positions during the fifth Democratic presidential primary debate.

MSNBC and The Washington Post will co-host the fifth debate, which will be held in Georgia. When competing for votes in a crowded field, as the 19 Democratic candidates are doing, debates are a chance to share policy positions with a massive audience.

While some candidates, such as Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, will definitely be on the Georgia stage, other candidates' fates are uncertain, as they have yet to meet the necessary qualifications set by the Democratic National Committee. Only seven candidates have appeared at every debate since they began in June.

When Is the Next Democratic Debate?

The fifth Democratic presidential primary debate will take place on November 20. However, candidates must meet participation requirements by November 13 at 11:59 p.m. to be eligible to take the stage.

Requirements to Participate

To qualify for the debate, candidates must meet both a polling and fundraising requirement.

The polling requirement is achieved by meeting the four-poll threshold or the early state polling threshold.

Under the four-poll threshold, candidates must receive at least 3 percent support in four national polls or single-state polls from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada. All four polls must either be sponsored by a different qualifying poll sponsor or, if they share a sponsor, be in different geographical areas.

If a candidate wants to qualify under the early state polling threshold, they must receive five percent or more support in two single-state polls. Those polls must be from Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada. The early state polling threshold does not have sponsor or geographical area restrictions.

when is the next democratic debate
From left, Democratic presidential candidates Buttigieg, Sanders, Biden, Warren and Harris on stage during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Texas Southern University's Health and PE Center on September 12 in Houston. The fifth debate will take place in November in Georgia. Win McNamee/Getty

For a poll to count under either threshold it must be sponsored by one of 15 approved entities or pairs of entities and be publicly released between September 13 and November 13. The question asked could not be open-ended so respondents must have selected a candidate from a given list of names.

Along with having support from poll respondents, candidates must also prove they have support from people willing to put their money where their mouth is.

To meet the grassroots fundraising threshold, candidates must receive donations from at least 165,000 unique donors and a minimum of 600 unique donors per state in at least 20 states, U.S. territories or the District of Columbia. Donations must be received by November 13 at 11:59 p.m. and confirmed on a certification executed by the candidate's campaign treasurer.

Who Has Qualified for the Democratic Debate?

There's still time for candidates to qualify for the next debate, but for some, the pressure's off because they already secured their spot.

So far, eight candidates met both the polling and donor requirements, according to CBS News, who identified them as:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • Senator Cory Booker
  • South, Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Senator Kamala Harris
  • Senator Bernie Sanders
  • Billionaire Tom Steyer
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang

There's still a bit of information that's unknown about the fifth Democratic debate, including who the moderators will be, the format it'll use and the venue where it will be held. The start time has also not been released, although, it will be aired exclusively on MSNBC and live-streamed on the digital platforms of NBC News, MSNBC and The Washington Post.

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