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12 candidates qualify for October Democratic debate

Twelve candidates will share the stage during the fourth Democratic presidential debate this month, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced on Wednesday, making it the most crowded single-night debate to date. 

To qualify for the debate, the candidates had to amass the support of 130,000 unique donors and register at least 2 percent in four DNC-approved polls by Oct. 1. The debate is set to take place on Oct. 15 at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, just north of Columbus.

The 12 candidates to make the cut are: former Vice President Joe Biden; Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.); Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.); Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.); South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.); Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.); former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas); former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro; former tech executive Andrew Yang; billionaire philanthropist Tom Steyer; and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).

Biden and Warren will stand next to each other at center stage for the second debate in a row, according to CNN and The New York Times, the two media organizations hosting the fourth debate.

On Biden’s side of the stage will be Sanders, Harris, Booker, Steyer and Gabbard. Standing to Warren’s left will be Buttigieg, Yang, O’Rourke, Klobuchar and Castro. 

Unlike past debates, which limited the number of candidates onstage at once to 10, the fourth debate will feature all 12 qualifying candidates on a single night.

The DNC has imposed tougher qualifying criteria for the fifth debate, which is set for November. To make the cut, candidates will have to collect contributions from at least 165,000 unique donors and notch at least 3 percent in four approved polls or 5 percent in two approved early-state polls.

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