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Democratic Debate Stage Just Got a Little Less White

Andrew Yang qualifies for Dec. 19 event with latest Quinnipiac poll
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 11, 2019 6:11 AM CST
In this Dec. 5, 2019, photo, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang speaks during an interview with the AP in Chicago.   (AP Photo/Teresa Crawford)

(Newser) – The sixth Democratic debate is happening next Thursday, and there will now be seven candidates on the stage at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. The new contender to join Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, and Elizabeth Warren in the PBS NewsHour/Politico event: Andrew Yang, who can thank a Quinnipiac University poll on Tuesday for giving him a final qualifying nudge, reports NPR. There are still 15 total candidates in the race and Yang looks to be the last to qualify. Tulsi Gabbard needs just one more poll to gain entry, but she's already said she's not showing up "for a number of reasons" even if she does.

To qualify for the Dec. 19 debate, candidates have to reach 4% in four DNC-approved early-state or national polls, or 6% in two early-state polls, as well as have contributions from 800,000 unique donors by the deadline of this Thursday at midnight. In the Quinnipiac poll, Yang pulled in 4% of the vote among Dem voters and independent voters who lean Democratic. NPR notes his presence at the debate will bring "some needed diversity," as the other six candidates are all white. Per Politico, Yang joked about that fact himself in Iowa, telling reporters, "We are going to do something unprecedented on the debate stage next week, and that is show up as the lone person of color." (Read more Andrew Yang stories.)

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