New venue announced for December Democratic debate in Los Angeles

By Quint Forgey

The Democratic presidential debate in December has been moved to Loyola Marymount University, after controversy over a labor fight upended plans to host the prime-time event at the University of California, Los Angeles.

POLITICO and PBS NewsHour, the sponsors of the Dec. 19 debate, announced the change after the Democratic National Committee said Wednesday that UCLA would no longer serve as the venue because of an ongoing dispute between the school and its largest employee union.

Instead, candidates will assemble in the nearly 21,000-square-foot Gersten Pavilion arena on LMU’s campus, which will accommodate seating for up to 2,000 spectators.

Six Democratic White House contenders have so far qualified to appear on stage: Vice President Joe Biden; Sens. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; and Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind.

To participate, candidates must either receive at least 4 percent support in four qualifying polls of primary voters nationally or in early-voting states (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina); or they must receive at least 6 percent support in two qualifying early-state polls.

Candidates must also amass donations from at least 200,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 800 donors in 20 states, territories or Washington, D.C.

The December debate will be the sixth such televised forum of the primary cycle, and will follow a debate in the Atlanta area on Nov. 20 co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post. Ten candidates have so far qualified for that debate.