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2020 Democratic presidential candidate and Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard officially met the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) debate requirements after securing a delegate in the Super Tuesday contests.
Gabbard won a delegate in American Samoa, the U.S. territory that is also Gabbard’s birthplace.
While the DNC has yet to release the requirements for candidates to land a podium on stage for the next debate, major contenders for the party’s nomination could earn their spot in prior debates by capturing at least one delegate in any of this year’s past contests, including Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada.
After it became clear Gabbard had officially earned a delegate Tuesday night, however, DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa announced that the Democratic Party would move the goal posts for debate participation, even as the party changed the rules for the Nevada debate to pave the way for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to participate by removing the donor requirement.
“We have two more debates,” Hinojosa tweeted. “Of course the threshold will go up. By the time we have the March debate, almost 2,000 delegates will be allocated. The threshold will reflect where we are in the race, as it always has.”
In February, the DNC removed the requirement that candidates must garner a minimum number of unique contributions to qualify for the debate stage, opening the door to Bloomberg, who is self-funding his campaign without small-dollar donors.