6 candidates to appear in 7th Democratic presidential primary debate
WASHINGTON, Jan. 12 (Xinhua) : Six candidates have been invited to participate in the seventh Democratic presidential primary debate next week, announced the Democratic National Committee (DNC) and the hosts on Saturday.
They are former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden; former Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, Pete Buttigieg; Senators Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren; and billionaire activist Tom Steyer.
The debate, the seventh of a dozen scheduled for the Democratic Party’s primary, will take place on Jan. 14 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, to be moderated by CNN and The Des Moines Register.
Biden and Sanders will stand at center stage that night, according to CNN. Warren will be to the left of Biden, and Buttigieg will be to the right of Sanders. Steyer will stand next to Warren, and Klobuchar will be next to Buttigieg.
The candidates qualified because they have received 5 percent or more support in at least four polls or 7 percent or more support in two polls in early-voting states and garnered donations from at least 225,000 unique donors, criteria agreed by the DNS, CNN and The Des Moines Register.
The lineup has been the smallest, whitest, and least diverse to date in this election cycle, as there are no candidates of color in it.
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang, a fast-rising candidate who nonetheless failed to meet polling thresholds to take part in the upcoming debate, unsuccessfully called for the DNC to commission more polling to make up for a lack of surveys over the holidays.
“If the DNC had only done their due diligence and commissioned polls in the early states, Andrew Yang would certainly be on the debate stage next week,” campaign chief Nick Ryan said in an email to supporters on Saturday.
The announcement came a day after the release of The Des Moines Register/CNN poll on Friday, widely considered the most authoritative in the Hawkeye State. Sanders, 78, is narrowly leading in Iowa, with the support of 20 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers, according to the poll.
He’s trailed closely by Warren, another progressive, who registers 17 percent in the survey. Buttigieg and Joe Biden, who’s leading comfortably in national polls and holding a wide lead among black voters, rounded out the top four, with 16-percent and 15-percent support, respectively.
Klobuchar notched 6 percent in the poll, putting her in the fifth place, while Yang finished just below her, with 5-percent support.
The poll surveyed 701 likely Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa on Jan. 2-8, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points, suggesting the race in the Hawkeye State remains wide open.
The 2020 Iowa Caucuses are scheduled for next month, which will kick off the presidential nominating calendar. David Axelrod, director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, tweeted on Saturday that “this Iowa thing is a four-way jump ball.” There are currently 13 Democrats contending for the party’s nomination to take on President Donald Trump in November.