When Is the Next Democratic Debate? DNC Stands By Double Qualification Requirements Ahead of January Matchup

In January, qualifying presidential candidates will once again be given a chance to state their policy positions during the seventh Democratic presidential primary debate.

CNN and The Des Moines Register will co-host the debate, which will take place at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. The January debate is the first of four that events that will take place in quick succession over the first two months of 2020 in states with early primaries and caucuses.

While frontrunners such as former Vice President Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren are practically guaranteed to be on the debate stage, some candidates who have struggled to reach the required number of donors or hit the required polling numbers will not be allowed to take the stage, despite efforts to have the thresholds adjusted.

When Is the Next Democratic Debate?

The seventh Democratic presidential primary debate will take place on January 14. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) has not yet announced the deadline to qualify.

The debate is scheduled to take place just over two weeks before the Iowa caucuses on February 3.

Requirements To Qualify

The DNC has yet to release requirements for the early 2020 debates, but previous debates in this election cycle have required candidates to meet both polling and fundraising targets.

Even though the committee has not yet announced the qualifying requirements for the next Democratic showdown, Senator Cory Booker—who did not qualify for December's debate—wrote a letter to DNC chairman Tom Perez requesting he lighten the burden for the seventh debate. The letter, which was signed by the seven qualifying candidates as well as former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, who also failed to qualify, requested that the DNC look at only a polling requirement or donor numbers, but not both. "Candidates who have proven both their viability and their commitment to the Democratic Party are being prematurely cut out of the nominating contest before many voters have even tuned in—much less made their decision about whom to support," the letter read, according to The New York Times.

The committee did not reply to a request for comment from Newsweek, but in a statement to Politico, the DNC showed no plans to alter course. "The DNC will not change the threshold for any one candidate and will not revert back to two consecutive nights with more than a dozen candidates," the statement read. "Our qualification criteria is extremely low and reflects where we are in the race."

The DNC also claimed that no campaign resisted when they were first told that qualification requirements would increase. "The DNC has led a fair and transparent process and even told campaigns almost a year ago that the qualification criteria would go up later in the year—not one campaign objected," the statement to Politico read.

democratic debate
Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) , Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Andrew Yang, and Tom Steyer participate in the fifth Democratic Presidential Debate at Tyler Perry Studios November 20, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia. Alex Wong/Getty