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DNC announces new criteria for New Hampshire debate

The Democratic National Committee (DNC) announced new criteria for its debate ahead of the New Hampshire primary next month, potentially giving an opportunity for more candidates to qualify for the forum.

Candidates can qualify if they garner donations from 225,000 individual donors, in addition to receiving at least 5 percent support in four polls, which can be national polls or surveys of voters in New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada.

They can also qualify by getting at least 7 percent support in two polls from New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

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The DNC is also allowing candidates to qualify if they win any of the 41 delegates up for grabs in the Iowa caucuses the week prior to debate.

The new option opens the door to entrepreneur Andrew Yang, who for the first time failed to make the debate stage for the Des Moines debate Tuesday due to the DNC’s polling threshold.

The option notably also gives an opportunity to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to make the debate stage.

Since Bloomberg is self-funding his campaign, he failed to meet the DNC’s donor threshold for previous debates. If he wins at least one delegate in Iowa, he would have an opportunity to debate in New Hampshire.

Still, the chances of Bloomberg winning a delegate in Iowa are slim. Bloomberg has focused his campaign’s growing staff and financial war chest on the Super Tuesday states and has not had a significant campaign presence in the Hawkeye State. 

The DNC has had to contend from protests from a number of candidates over its past debate qualifications. Former Democratic contenders Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Julián Castro said the qualifications made it more difficult for candidates of color to make the debate stage. 

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