The debate is set for Sept. 12 and could extend to a second night, Sept. 13, if enough candidates meet the threshold to participate. The location and moderators have not yet been announced.
Like the first two Democratic presidential debates — which are set for next month on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo and for July on CNN — the September debate and a fourth, to be held in October, will cap participants at 10 per night.
But it will be more difficult for the nearly two dozen 2020 Democratic hopefuls to make the stage.
Unlike the first and second rounds of debates, when candidates must cross either a donor or polling threshold to qualify, candidates will need to surpass both bars to make the stage for the third and fourth debates. For the September event, candidates will have to hit 2 percent in four qualifying polls, versus 1 percent in three polls for the first debates, and they will need 130,000 individual donors, up from 65,000.
Although the polling threshold increase is modest, it could represent a significant barrier for many candidates who have struggled to hit that mark in early polling.
Interesting that the fundraising qualifier is determined by the number of individual donors, rather than total donations received. If that incentivizes candidates into going after any fringe Democrat voter with a few dollars to spare, the results shouldn’t fail to amuse.