Tulsi Gabbard Qualifies for November Debate

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U.S. Air National Guard photo by Senior Airman Orlando Corpuz

Tulsi Gabbard, the 38-year-old anti-war Congresswoman from Hawaii, has qualified for the Democratic National Committee’s November debate. This marks the second debate she has qualified for, after missing the September debate due to a lack of strong polling. Having long surpassed the 165,000 unique donor threshold, Gabbard was just waiting on a fourth poll to have her at 3% or better nationally in order to make the November 20th debate in Georgia. Only polls released between September 13th and November 13th count towards the polling threshold.

Along with the October 15th Economist poll, the October 21st Emerson poll, and the October 26th USA Today poll, Wednesday’s Quinnipiac Iowa poll satisfies that requirement, putting the military veteran Gabbard on the debate stage with frontrunners Biden and Warren, along with Sanders, Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Andrew Yang, Amy Klobuchar, Cory Booker, and Tom Steyer. This debate will be without Julian Castro, who has failed to meet the polling threshold, and Beto O’Rourke, who has dropped out. Both were present in the October debate. 

This is the only debate with these qualifications. In December, candidates will be required to have 200,000 unique donors (which Gabbard and Steyer do not yet have) and have either four polls at 4% or better nationally or in early-nominating states Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina; or two polls 6% or better in those early-nominating states (Klobuchar and Yang have yet to meet these). Candidates have until December 12th to qualify for the December 19th debate in Los Angeles.

Gabbard made waves in the second debate back in July when she targeted Kamala Harris’s record as a criminal prosecutor, saying her actions then were incompatible with the Democrats’ position on criminal justice reform. Harris, a front-runner at the time, dipped in the polls soon after, and has yet to return to the first tier of candidates. More recently, Tulsi has gone after Hillary Clinton, calling on her to enter the race and face her directly, rather than “cowardly hide behind [her] proxies.” For her part, Clinton called Gabbard a “Russian asset,” mainly for her opposition to a foreign policy including regimes changes.

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Andrew Bartholomew

Andrew Bartholomew is a politics and election news writer from Iowa City, Iowa. He has previously worked for Young Americans for Liberty and was most recently the political director for a Republican congressional bid.

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