Posted on December 12, 2019

Yang Qualifies, Busts Up All-White Debate Stage

Ed Kilgore, New York Magazine, December 10, 2019

With just two days left before qualifying ends for the December 19 Democratic presidential-candidate debate in Los Angeles, the specter of an all-white field strutting its pasty-faced stuff on the stage was dispelled when a national poll from Quinnipiac lifted Asian-American Andrew Yang over the velvet rope. There are now seven candidates still in the race who have qualified for the sixth debate: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, and Yang. Kamala Harris qualified but then dropped out of the race. Tulsi Gabbard is one qualifying poll short but has indicated she will not participate even if she does meet the threshold. And Mike Bloomberg lacks one qualifying poll as well but isn’t taking campaign contributions and thus cannot meet the grassroots donor threshold (and probably doesn’t want to debate anyway at this point).

Candidates still in the race who have fallen far short of the threshold for this debate (none has a single qualifying poll) are Michael Bennet, Cory Booker, Julián Castro, John Delaney, Deval Patrick, and Marianne Williamson. This is Booker’s first debate non-qualification and the second for Castro.