- The Washington Times - Friday, August 23, 2019

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign asked the Democratic National Committee on Friday to reconsider its criteria for candidates to participate in upcoming primary debates.

Citing “numerous irregularities,” the congresswoman’s presidential campaign said the DNC should revise the list of polls used to decide who appears on the debate stage.

Democratic candidates are currently required to poll at or above 2% in four different DNC-certified polls to qualify to compete in the next two rounds of debates.

Ms. Gabbard, Hawaii Democrat, has exceeded 2% support in 26 different polls, according to her campaign. Only two of those surveys on the DNC’s “certified” list, however, despite being conducted on behalf of reputable news organizations and arguably more accurate.

“The Gabbard campaign is calling on the DNC to hold true to their promise and make adjustments to the process now to ensure transparency and fairness,” it said in a press release.

“Crucial decisions on debate qualifications that impact the right of the American people to have the opportunity to participate fully in the Democratic process should not be made in secret by party bosses,” continued Ms. Gabbard’s campaign. “For the sake of democracy, those decisions must be made openly, with clear and consistent standards and a sufficient window of opportunity for candidates to demonstrate genuine grassroots momentum and enthusiasm.”

The DNC did not immediately return a message requesting comment.

In addition to polling at or above 2% among voters in at least four DNC-certified polls, Democratic candidates are required to raise money from at least 130,000 unique donors to compete in upcoming debates currently scheduled for September and October.

Ten candidates so far have met the DNC’s criteria, The Hill reported: former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey; Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana; Sen. Kamala Harris of California; Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota; former congressman Beto O’Rourke of Texas; Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont; Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts; former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; and tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

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