Tulsi Gabbard’s campaign wants the DNC to change debate qualifying poll requirements

Tulsi Gabbard's campaign wants the DNC to change debate polling criteria.

August 23, 2019, 12:28 PM

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard’s presidential campaign is calling on the Democratic National Committee to revise its list of debate qualifying polls in an effort to help the Hawaii Congresswoman qualify for the upcoming third DNC debate hosted by ABC News.

(MORE: ABC News announces details for 3rd Democratic primary debate)

According to the criteria that the DNC set forth, 2020 candidates must meet the donor threshold of 130,000 unique donors and 2 percent in 4 DNC qualified polls. Gabbard has exceeded the donor threshold but needs two polls to meet the debate criteria.

The Gabbard team is citing what they describe as several irregularities in the selection and timing of the DNC sponsored polls. The campaign points out “Gabbard has exceeded 2% support in 26 polls, but only two of them are on the DNC’s “certified” list.

In a press release, the campaign says many of the uncertified polls, including those conducted by highly reputable organizations such as The Economist and the Boston Globe, are ranked by Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight as more accurate than some DNC “certified” polls.”

Additionally, they have polled at or above 2% in two polls sponsored by the two largest newspapers in two different early primary states: The Boston Globe which is the largest circulated paper in New Hampshire and The Post and Courier in South Carolina.

Gabbard, who is a major in the Army National Guard is still currently in Indonesia for a two week military training, during which time she is unable to work with her campaign in any capacity. Gabbard will return to the campaign trail on August 27.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and former Maryland congressman John Delaney take part in the first night of the Democratic presidential debate on June 26, 2019 in Miami, Florida.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Another issue the Gabbard campaign is highlighting is the lack of polls that have been released following the second debate. After the first debate, the campaign highlights that 11 polls were released however that number shrank to just four polls after the second debate.

The Gabbard campaign also notes that only two polls were released in the two weeks following the second debate. The campaign stressed that the lack of polls that have been released are “particularly harmful to candidates with lower name-recognition. Delayed poll releases are an advantage for high-name recognition candidates such as Vice President Joe Biden and Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Kamala Harris.”

This isn’t Gabbard’s first run in with the DNC, in 2016, she stepped down from the party after serving as Vice Chair to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders. Following her endorsement, Gabbard was outspokenly critical of the DNC, having clashed with then DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz over the DNC’s debate schedule resulting in Gabbard being disinvited from the first debate in 2015.

At the time Wasserman Schultz claimed that Gabbard’s complaints were a distraction.

Also earlier this week, Gabbard threw her support behind a failed attempt to call for the DNC to support a Climate Change debate.

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