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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, July 17th, 2019

July Democratic presidential debate lineup set; Montana’s Steve Bullock makes the cut

Today, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Com­mit­tee announced the names of the can­di­dates that had qual­i­fied for the sec­ond round of Demo­c­ra­t­ic debates, to be held in Detroit lat­er this month. In a sim­i­lar for­mat to the last round of debat­ing, twen­ty can­di­dates will face off over the course of two nights.

Skyline of Detroit

The sec­ond round of debates will be held in Detroit (Pho­to: Shawn Wil­son, repro­duced under a Cre­ative Com­mons license)

The cri­te­ria to enter this round of debates are the same as those for the first round: a can­di­date must either poll above 1% in three or more DNC-approved polls or have at least 65,000 unique donors to their cam­paign.

The can­di­dates are, in alpha­bet­i­cal order:

  • Sen­a­tor Michael Ben­net of Col­orado
  • For­mer Vice Pres­i­dent Joe Biden
  • Sen­a­tor Cory Book­er of New Jer­sey
  • Mon­tana Gov­er­nor Steve Bul­lock,
  • South Bend May­or Pete Buttigieg
  • For­mer HUD Sec­re­tary Julián Cas­tro
  • New York May­or Bill de Bla­sio
  • For­mer U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive John Delaney
  • U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tul­si Gab­bard of Hawaii
  • Sen­a­tor Kirsten Gilli­brand of New York
  • Sen­a­tor Kamala Har­ris of Cal­i­for­nia
  • For­mer Gov­er­nor John Hick­en­loop­er of Col­orado
  • Gov­er­nor Jay Inslee of Wash­ing­ton
  • Sen­a­tor Amy Klobuchar of Min­neso­ta
  • For­mer U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Beto O’Rourke of Texas
  • U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tim Ryan of Ohio
  • Sen­a­tor Bernie Sanders of Ver­mont
  • Sen­a­tor Eliz­a­beth War­ren of Mass­a­chu­setts
  • Mar­i­anne Williamson
  • Andrew Yang

The line­up is almost exact­ly the same as the first debate, with the sin­gle change being that Cal­i­for­nia Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Eric Swal­well recent­ly dropped out of the race. He will be replaced on the stage by Montana’s gov­er­nor, Steve Bul­lock.

Bul­lock nar­row­ly missed out on qual­i­fy­ing for the first debates (much to his campaign’s out­rage), and he will be hop­ing to use this debate to point out that he was re-elect­ed as a Demo­c­ra­t­ic gov­er­nor on the same day that Don­ald Trump won his state by twen­ty points, argu­ing that he can woo at least some of the Trump vot­ers back to the Demo­c­ra­t­ic col­umn.

Sev­er­al Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates will not make it to the debates in Detroit. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Seth Moul­ton and Wayne Mes­sam, the may­or of Mira­mar, Flori­da, have both been cam­paign­ing for months, but have failed entire­ly to make any impact in the polls. Alaska’s for­mer sen­a­tor, Mike Grav­el, has report­ed­ly qual­i­fied for the debate based on the DNC’s donor thresh­old, but failed to make the twen­ty-per­son cut off, as the DNC pri­or­i­tizes polling results over donor require­ments.

Two can­di­dates have entered the race since the first debate – for­mer U.S. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Joe Ses­tak of Penn­syl­va­nia and Cal­i­for­nia bil­lion­aire Tom Stey­er – but they will not be on stage. They ave not had enough time to raise either the funds or the polling sup­port required to be includ­ed in the debate.

CNN is set to host the sec­ond round of debates.

Instead of try­ing to orga­nize which can­di­dates will debate each oth­er on which nights based on polling, the net­work will hold a mul­ti-stage live draw on Thurs­day night to deter­mine the sched­ule for can­di­dates.

The July debate is almost cer­tain­ly the last time that view­ers will watch so many can­di­dates debate each oth­er at once for the 2020 cycle; the qual­i­fy­ing thresh­olds for the third debate – set to be held in mid-Sep­tem­ber – are sig­nif­i­cant­ly high­er.

To make the third debate this autumn, a can­di­date must poll at 2% and have over 130,000 unique donors. To date, only five Democ­rats have met this thresh­old: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Har­ris, Eliz­a­beth War­ren and Pete Buttigieg.

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