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10 Democratic Candidates Qualify For Next Week's November Debate

Ten Democratic candidates will debate next week in the fifth primary face-off, which has increasing importance, with presidential hopefuls set to face voters in fewer than three months.

Candidates who met the polling and fundraising requirements set by the Democratic National Committee are former Vice President Joe Biden; New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard; California Sen. Kamala Harris; Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar; Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders; billionaire businessman and activist Tom Steyer; Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren; and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

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The Nov. 20 debate in Atlanta will air on MSNBC from 9 to 11 p.m. ET and will be co-hosted by The Washington Post. Four female journalists are set to moderate: MSNBC's Rachel Maddow, NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell, NBC News White House correspondent Kristen Welker and Washington Post White House reporter Ashley Parker.

The stage will be a bit smaller than it was last month, when a record 12 candidates debated each other. Since then, former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke has dropped out of the race. Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro did not qualify for the November debate; six other candidates didn't qualify again either.

The DNC debate requirements were stricter this time around — candidates had to hit at least 3% in four qualifying polls since Sept. 13 or at least 5% in two early-state polls. They also had to get 165,000 unique donors, with 600 of those coming from 20 different states.

The benchmarks are set to get even tougher for the Dec. 19 debate. The candidates have to hit 4% in four polls or 6% in two early-state polls from Oct. 16 through Dec. 12, along with reaching 200,000 unique donors, with 800 of those from 20 different states.

So far, only six candidates meet those requirements: Biden, Buttigieg, Harris, Klobuchar, Sanders and Warren.

But there could be new competitors angling to make the December debate stage. Former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick is entering the race, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is reconsidering a run too.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jessica Taylor is a political reporter with NPR based in Washington, DC, covering elections and breaking news out of the White House and Congress. Her reporting can be heard and seen on a variety of NPR platforms, from on air to online. For more than a decade, she has reported on and analyzed House and Senate elections and is a contributing author to the 2020 edition of The Almanac of American Politics and is a senior contributor to The Cook Political Report.