Ten Democrats qualify for third debate, DNC thresholds cut field in half

ten candidates qualify

Wednesday’s 11:59 pm debate qualification deadline came and went for the Democrats and half the field is on the outside looking in.

To make the cut for the third debate in Houston, Texas, candidates needed to secure 2% support in four qualifying polls and get 130,000 unique donors before August 28

Despite the time frame, no Democrats were able to qualify within the last week of the window. Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro was the last to qualify for the debate and that was August 20.

Including Castro, only ten Democratic hopefuls will be on stage in Houston, which is half the amount of the previous two debates. With only ten candidates, the debate will be a one-night event on September 12.

The following candidates are the only ones that were able to meet the thresholds. For the most part, these are also the same ten that make up the best odds to win the Democratic nomination.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden (+275)
  • Sen. Cory Booker (+2800)
  • South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (+1200)
  • Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro (+6600)
  • Sen. Kamala Harris (+800)
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar (+5000)
  • Former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (+4000)
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (+600)
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren (+250)
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang (+1000)

There are, however, a couple of party notables that will not be in Houston. Billionaire Tom Steyer, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand all had a shot at reaching the third debate but were not able to meet the requirements. 

Despite not starting his campaign until July, Steyer was able to get over 130,000 but only got 2% support in three polls.

Gabbard, whose +2500 odds of earning the Democratic nomination are better than the chances of Booker, O’Rourke, and Klobuchar, will also miss the Houston debate.

So far, Gillibrand is the only Democratic to drop from the race after not making the third debate, but others are expected to follow her lead.

2020 Democratic nomination odds


  • Elizabeth Warren +250
  • Joe Biden +275
  • Bernie Sanders +600
  • Kamala Harris +800
  • Andrew Yang +1000
  • Pete Buttigieg +1200
  • Tulsi Gabbard +2500
  • Cory Booker +2800
  • Beto O’Rourke +4000
  • Amy Klobuchar +5000
  • Tom Steyer +5000
  • Julián Castro +6600
  • Bill de Blasio +10000
  • John Delaney +10000
  • Marianne Williamson +10000
  • Michael Bennett +10000
  • Tim Ryan +10000