ABC-Univision Democratic Debate In September Likely To Feature Much Smaller Field

Dade Hayes

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ABC News confirmed Texas Southern University in Houston will host the third Democratic debate in September, as the field starts to shrink from its original cavalcade of two dozen hopefuls.

ABC and Univision are hosting the debate on September 12 and, if necessary, September 13.

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In announcing the host location on Sunday morning, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos noted that the Democratic National Committee’s qualification bar is rising for candidates, which will help winnow the field.

The polling threshold for the September debates doubles from the previous level of 1% to 2%, and the number of individual donors also doubles from 65,000 to 130,000. Eight candidates — Joe Biden, Beto O’Rourke, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Julián Castro and Andrew Yang — are currently above the donor threshold, Stephanopoulos said. Just six — Biden, O’Rourke, Buttigieg, Harris, Warren and Sanders — have hit both the donor and polling targets, though there are still several weeks before the deadline to hit those statistical marks.

The 2% polling level must be reflected in at least four national polls, or polls conducted in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada, according to the DNC. Each poll submitted must be publicly released between June 28 and August 28 and be must be sponsored by one or more organizations approved by the committee.

In addition to the 130,000 individual donor plateau, candidates must also show that they have include at least 400 unique donors per state, in a minimum of 20 states.

CNN last week confirmed the 20 Democratic candidates who will take part in a July 30 and July 31 set of debates to be televised by the news network. Harris and Biden headline one night and Warren and Sanders the other.

September’s primetime debate will air live on ABC and on Univision with Spanish translation, as well as on ABC News Live streaming service.

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