Who’s in and Who’s Out of the Next Dem Debates?
The first Democratic presidential debates illustrated just how important the national platform can be to presidential campaigns, shaking up the primary polls and reshuffling opinions of front-runners and lesser-known candidates alike. And Democrats are already scrambling to make sure they’re involved in the next rounds of televised debates later this summer and fall.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) tried to make a splash in June, urging former Vice President Joe Biden to “pass the torch” to younger Democrats — but the attack had little impact, and Swalwell is now in danger of missing the next round of debates in July and being replaced by Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, who missed out on the June debates.
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Meanwhile, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro has been polling near the back of the primary pack, but his splash in last week’s debate has gone a long way toward ensuring he can make the September debate, when the qualification thresholds rise significantly, posing an existential threat to many campaigns. Castro told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow on Tuesday that he raised $1 million in the days following the debate, and that his campaign had around 116,000 donors — just shy of September’s 130,000-donor threshold with months still to go.