DNC Announces Details For Third Presidential Primary Debate

ABC News, along with Univision, to host third debate, to be held during the second week of September

Today, the DNC announced that ABC News, in partnership with Univision, will host the third debate.  The debate may occur over consecutive nights in prime time to accommodate a large field of qualifying candidates, with the first night on September 12 and the potential second night on September 13.

Last year, DNC Chair Tom Perez announced that his goals for the Democratic presidential primary debates are to (1) give the grassroots a bigger voice than ever before; (2)  showcase our candidates on an array of media platforms; (3) present an opportunity for vigorous discussion about issues, ideas and solutions; and (4) reach as many potential voters as possible.  Perez announced 12 presidential primary debates to be held over the course of the 2020 cycle.

The debate will air on the ABC television network, on Univision with Spanish translation, and on ABC News Live, the network’s streaming channel. It will be available on the ABCNews.com website and apps, as well as Hulu Live, The Roku Channel, and Facebook Watch, among other outlets.  Location, format and moderators will be announced at a future date.

The qualification criteria for the September debate will also remain in place for October’s DNC-sanctioned debate. To qualify for the September and October debates, candidates must meet both the Polling Threshold and the Grassroots Fundraising Threshold, as detailed below:

  1. Polling Threshold. Candidates must receive 2% or more support in at least four polls (which may be national polls, or polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada) meeting the following criteria (“Qualifying Poll Criteria”):

    • Each poll must be sponsored by an approved organization, which presently includes the following: Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Des Moines Register, Fox News, Monmouth University, NBC News, New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), Quinnipiac University, University of New Hampshire, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, and Winthrop University. Any candidate’s four qualifying polls must be conducted by different organizations, or if by the same organization, must be in different geographical areas.  The DNC and its media partners reserve the right to add a Nevada-specific poll sponsor to this list in the near future.

    • For the September debate, each poll must be publicly released between June 28, 2019, and August 28, 2019.  Deadlines for qualifying polls ahead of the October debate will be released in the future.

    • Each poll’s candidate support question must have been conducted by reading or presenting a list of Democratic presidential primary candidates to respondents. (Poll questions using an open-ended or un-aided question to gauge presidential primary support will not count).

    • Each polling result must be the top-line number listed in the original public release from the approved sponsoring organization/institution, whether or not it is a rounded or weighted number.

  1. Grassroots Fundraising Threshold. Candidates must submit a certification, executed by the Presidential candidate’s campaign Treasurer, demonstrating that the campaign has received donations from a minimum of (1) 130,000 unique donors; and (2) 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 U.S. states. For the September debate, qualifying donations must be received by 11:59 P.M. on August 28, 2019.  Deadlines for qualifying donations ahead of the October debate will be released in the future. An acceptable certification must provide or attach adequate verifiable evidence to show that the fundraising threshold has been reached and may include verification from ActBlue or NGP VAN regarding the campaign’s fundraising.