Guess who’s back, back again? Tulsi’s back, tell a friend.
That’s right. After being excluded from the September debate for failing to meet the DNC’s dubious polling requirements, Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard will rejoin the Democratic primary debate stage in October.
Gabbard had probably already qualified for the October debate after getting a fourth qualifying poll last week, but one of those four qualifying polls – a Washington Post/ABC News poll released on September 8 – was expected to be challenged by the DNC. On Tuesday, though, a New Hampshire primary poll was released by Monmouth that had Gabbard at 2%, thus cementing her status as having qualified.
After missing out on the September debate, Gabbard heavily criticized the DNC for some questionable requirements as to which polls count and which don’t – a common refrain among other lower-polling candidates like Andrew Yang, Tom Steyer, and Marianne Williamson. Yang made it into the last debate, while Steyer has already qualified for the October debate. Williamson still has a lot of work to do before the October 1 deadline, as she needs three more qualifying polls.
Gabbard’s inclusion now means that 12 candidates have qualified for the October debate: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Andrew Yang, Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, Amy Klobuchar, Tom Steyer, and now Tulsi Gabbard. The DNC has yet to announce if the debate, which will take place on October 15-16 in Westerville, Ohio, will be just one night or stretch over two nights.