Tulsi Gabbard says she will skip the December Democratic debate

Savannah Behrmann, USA TODAY

WASHINGTON – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, stated Monday that she won't be attending the December Democratic debate, even if she qualifies.

To qualify for the match-up on December 19, which is the final debate of the year, candidates must receive 4% or more support in at least four polls, which include national polls or polls in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.

Candidates could also meet the polling criteria by hitting 6% support in two single-state polls in the early voting states. Additionally, candidates need to get at least 200,000 unique donors.

Gabbard has met the donor threshold, and needs just one more poll to qualify for the December stage.

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"For a number of reasons, I have decided not to attend the December 19th "debate" — regardless of whether or not there are qualifying polls," Gabbard said. "I instead choose to spend that precious time directly meeting with and hearing from the people of New Hampshire and South Carolina."

The deadline for qualifying for the debate is Thursday.

Gabbard has been critical of the Democratic National Committee throughout her campaign, and even threatened to boycott October's DNC debate, before deciding to join.

The Hawaii representative then, without evidence, claimed that the DNC and corporate media were trying to "hijack the election."

Gabbard has continually criticized the DNC for its debate qualification criteria, including the fact that it only recognizes certain pollsters as counting toward the minimum polling threshold.

USA TODAY has reached out to the Gabbard campaign.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg, billionaire Tom Steyer, and Sens. Bernie Sanders, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren have each so far qualified for the December match-up.

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Entrepreneur Andrew Yang is on the cusp of qualifying.

According to RealClearPolitics' aggregated data, Gabbard is at an average of 1.0% in the polls. She recently moved her campaign to New Hampshire to focus on the state's primary.

Contributing: Jeanine Santucci, Rebecca Morin

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tulsi Gabbard says she will skip the December Democratic debate