Bennet Becomes 21st Candidate To Qualify For First 20 Spots Available In 1st And 2nd Presidential Debates

(Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)

Mike Brest Reporter
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Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet became the 21st presidential candidate to qualify for the 20 spots available in the first and second presidential debates Tuesday.

In order to qualify for the debates, candidates must either receive donations from at least 65,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 200 donors in more than 19 states or receive at least 1% support in three DNC-approved polls. The first debate is scheduled to take place on June 26 and 27 with 10 candidates on the stage each night.

CNN’s poll, which was released on Wednesday, had Bennet getting 1% of the vote for his third time, thus qualifying him for the debate.

2020 Democratic presidential candidates are seen in a combination of 21 file photos (L-R top row): U.S. Senators Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Michael Bennet. (L-R middle row): Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, U.S. Representatives Tulsi Gabbard, John Delaney, Eric Swalwell, Tim Ryan, Seth Moulton, and former HUD Secretary Julian Castro. (L-R bottom row): Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Former Gov. John Hickenlooper, Gov. Jay Inslee, Andrew Yang, Marianne Williamson, Mayor Wayne Messam, and former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. REUTERS/Files – RC1702FDC000

Thirteen of the 21 candidates have reached both markers including former Vice President Joe Biden, New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, California Sen. Kamala Harris, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang and motivational speaker Marianne Williamson.

Bennet joins seven other candidates who have reached the polling threshold but not the donations, according to ABC News, including Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan and California Rep. Eric Swalwell.

Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton and Mayor Wayne Messam of Miramar, Florida, are the only two candidates who haven’t reached either benchmark.

LAS VEGAS, NV, Dec 15, 2015, Empty Podiums at the CNN Republican presidential debate at The Venetian Resort and Casino (Shutterstock)

LAS VEGAS, NV, Dec 15, 2015, Empty Podiums at the CNN Republican presidential debate at The Venetian Resort and Casino (Shutterstock)

Each of those 13 candidates has locked in a spot in the debate. If any of the other eight candidates reach the donor threshold, they will also lock in a spot on the stage.

In the event that fewer than 20 candidates reach both milestones, the remaining spots will go to whoever has the highest polling average until all they reach the 20 candidate capacity.

If the June 12 debate deadline were today, Swalwell would be the candidate left off the stage, according to RealClearPolitics’ polling data.

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