Democratic presidential hopefuls are facing a rapidly closing window to qualify for the next debate.
Candidates have until the end of the day Wednesday to meet the polling and fundraising thresholds necessary to make the debate stage. But as of Wednesday morning, it looked like the stage was going to include 10 of the more than 20 candidates seeking the White House.
The next debate will be held at Texas Southern University in Houston on Sept. 12. If more than 10 candidates qualify, there will be a second night on Sept. 13. The Democratic National Committee requires each candidate to have at least 2% support in four polls and contributions from at least 130,000 individual donors with at least 400 from 20 different states.
The increased polling and fundraising thresholds have clearly been difficult to attain for some candidates. Several who have previously qualified for a debate have thus far not met the thresholds. Three candidates have also dropped out of the race since the previous debate in July; two of them had previously participated in debates.
Tom Steyer, who has not yet appeared on a debate stage, is the closest to qualifying for this round. He needs one more qualifying poll. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii is next in line; she needs two more qualifying polls. Both have met the fundraising marks.