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12th Democrat qualifies for October presidential debate

It's looking more likely to be another two-night event.

HONOLULU — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii has qualified for the next Democratic Party presidential debate after failing to make the threshold for the last one. That means there will be 12 candidates on the stage, increasing the likelihood it will be a two-night event.

A Monmouth University poll released Tuesday shows Gabbard has the support of 2% of registered Democrats and unaffiliated voters likely to participate in New Hampshire's Democratic primary in February.

To earn a spot in the mid-October debate, candidates must receive 2% or more support in at least four recognized polls. Candidates must also have donations from at least 130,000 unique donors and 400 unique donors in at least 20 states.

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The ten candidates who appeared in the September debate, as well as billionaire Tom Steyer, have qualified for October.

Of the remaining candidates who have not qualified, only Marianne Williamson has at least 2% support in one poll. The deadline to qualify is Oct. 1.

If it is a one-night debate, it will take place Oct. 15. A second night would be held Oct. 16. The Democratic National Committee has not made a formal announcement on whether it will be one or two nights, but given the DNC has not had a debate yet with more than 10 people stage at the same time, it's likely to go two nights.

The advantage for voters for having all the candidates on one night is they see all the front runners together. Splitting it up may give some lower-polling candidates a chance to shine with more air time, but voters won't be able to hear everyone's contrasting positions head-to-head.

Here is the full list of candidates for the October debate.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden 
  • Sen. Cory Booker
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
  • Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
  • Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Billionaire Tom Steyer
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • Former technology executive Andrew Yang

Criteria will be stricter for November's debate. Candidates will need at least 3% support in four national or single-state polls and 5% in two single-state polls. Candidates will need at least 165,000 unique donors.