Democratic Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard won one delegate in the American Samoa on Super Tuesday, which would qualify her for the upcoming March debate based on previous requirements.
The Democratic National Committee (DNC), however, may try to stop her. DNC communications director Xochitl Hinojosa tweeted shortly after Gabbard won a delegate Tuesday and said that “of course” the requirements for future debates will increase.
We have two more debates– of course the threshold will go up. By the time we have the March debate, almost 2,000 delegates will be allocated. The threshold will reflect where we are in the race, as it always has.
— Xochitl Hinojosa (@XochitlHinojosa) March 4, 2020
Hinojosa’s tweet sparked backlash from many, as the announcement came so soon after Gabbard’s perfromance Tuesday that would allow her to compete on the debate stage. (RELATED: ABC News: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Calls For Trump’s Censure Over Impeachment)
“Looks like the DNC is intent on excluding Gabbard — a veteran and woman of color — from the debate in March,” reporter Alex Rubinstein tweeted.
Keep in mind that the DNC just changed debate requirements to box out Gabbard after she won a delegate last night. After that and a laundry list of other slights and insults, she has no reason to be loyal to the party.
— Eoin Higgins (@EoinHiggins_) March 4, 2020
Will Bernie stand up for Tulsi?
— Mike Cernovich (@Cernovich) March 4, 2020
Previous 2020 debates in New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina required a candidate to have at least one pledged delegate to qualify, meaning Tulsi’s Super Tuesday win would have allowed her to appear on past stages.
Candidates could also qualify for past debates, such as the most recent Feb. 25 debate in Charleston, South Carolina by receiving at least 10% in four DNC-approved national polls or at least 12% in two DNC-approved South Carolina polls. The DNC has yet to announce what the requirements will be for the March 15 debate in Arizona.
Throughout the numerous debates, the requirements have continued to increase, despite pushback from candidates. In February, the DNC announced that there would no longer be an individual contribution requirement to qualify for a debate. This allowed former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who self-funded his half a billion dollar-campaign, to appear on recent stages.
Bloomberg dropped out of the presidential race Wednesday after a poor Super Tuesday showing.