October Democratic debate slated for one night with 12 candidates (so far)

PHOTO: Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks with Senator Elizabeth Warren during the 2020 Democratic U.S. presidential debate in Houston, Texas, Sept. 12, 2019.PlayMike Blake/Reuters
WATCH Countdown is on for the third Democratic presidential debate

The October debate, hosted by CNN and the New York Times, is set for a single night on Oct. 15, the Democratic National Committee told the presidential campaigns Friday.

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"To address several inquiries we have received, we are writing to let you know that, pending a final decision after the certification deadline, it is the intention of the DNC and our media partners to hold the October debate over one night," the DNC wrote in a memo obtained by ABC News.

The decision to make the party's fourth-sanctioned debate only one night was first reported by CNN.

PHOTO: 2020 Democratic presidential candidates participate in a debate at Texas Southern University, Sept. 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas, Sept. 12, 2019. Heidi Gutman/Walt Disney Television
2020 Democratic presidential candidates participate in a debate at Texas Southern University, Sept. 12, 2019 in Houston, Texas, Sept. 12, 2019.

The debate, which is set to feature the largest roster to participate in a debate this cycle, will take place on the campus of Otterbein University at 8 p.m. EST. CNN’s Anderson Cooper and Erin Burnett and New York Times national editor Marc Lacey will moderate, the news outlets announced. The format will be announced at a future date, the DNC said previously.

Twelve candidates are currently qualified for the upcoming matchup, according to an ABC News analysis:

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden
  • New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro
  • Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard
  • California Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke
  • Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Billionaire Tom Steyer
  • Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
  • Candidates have until Oct. 1 to qualify for the debate.

    Ahead of next week's deadline, no other candidate appears to be closing in on the polling and donor requirements to qualify, based on ABC's analysis. Author Marianne Williamson met the donor threshold, according to her campaign, but she only has 2% support in one DNC-approved poll.

    The debate will feature another matchup between the two polling front-runners, Biden and Warren, on the same stage. In recent national and early state polling, the Massachusetts senator continues to narrow the gap with the former vice president - with a September Des Moines Register/CNN poll showing a virtual tie between Warren and Biden in the Hawkeye state, with the Massachusetts senator holding onto a two-point lead over the former vice president.

    To qualify for the October debate, candidates must receive 2% or more support in at least four national polls, or polls conducted in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and/or Nevada and publicly released between June 28 and 11:59 p.m. Oct. 1.

    Any candidates’ four qualifying polls must be sponsored by one or more of the following organizations approved by the DNC: The Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Des Moines Register, Fox News, Monmouth University, NBC News, New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), Quinnipiac University, University of New Hampshire, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, and Winthrop University. They also must be conducted by different organizations or -- if by the same organization -- must be in different geographical areas.

    Candidates must also have received donations from at least 130,000 unique donors over the course of the election cycle, with a minimum of 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 states.