The 2020 DNC Debates Are Headed for Disaster | NTK Network The 2020 DNC Debates Are Headed for Disaster

The 2020 DNC Debates Are Headed for Disaster

The rules set in place to avoid the calamity that was the 2016 nominating process could wind up hurting the very candidates they set out to protect.

By NTK Staff | 05.08.2019 @9:46am
The 2020 DNC Debates Are Headed for Disaster

The first 2020 Democratic presidential primary debate is just 50 days away, and the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) new rules are setting up the event for failure according to a new report.

The debates will be held on two consecutive nights in late June. There are essentially two thresholds the candidates must cross in order to participate: achieve at least 1 percent support in DNC-approved national and early primary state polling and receive contributions from 65,000 individual donors.

Those rules were put in place to help lesser known candidates get a leg up in the primary. Many Democrats complained in 2016 that the entire nomination process was designed to benefit Hillary Clinton, the best known candidate in the field. Candidates like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) not only faced the usual candidate obstacles but also structural ones put in place by the DNC, they argued.

But with the bar set so low in 2020, the DNC is going to have far more candidates to deal with than the GOP ever did in 2016:

The DNC will announce the official lineup two weeks before the debates, which will be broken into two rounds of up to 10 candidates each on June 26 and 27.

Rather than having an undercard debate of low-polling candidates, like the Republicans had during the 2016 campaign, the DNC will randomly draw to determine which night the candidates appear on stage, injecting uncertainty into a process that will be closely scrutinized by the campaigns.

The result of these rules could be a scenario in which Sanders, a leading candidate in the primary, finds himself on a debate stage with bottom-tier candidates.

“I’m all for inclusion and competitive primaries, but no one can tell me it’s actually good for us to have this many candidates on stage,” one DNC official told The Hill. “It wasn’t good for Republicans and they at least had an undercard debate. My fear is the bullshit candidates will take away from our legitimate ones.”

According to a New York Times analysis, at least 17 candidates have already qualified for the first debate, and there’s plenty of time for others to join the already crowded field.

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