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New DNC Rules on Debates Leave Tulsi Gabbard Out

Presidential candidate is still on the campaign trail
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 6, 2020 4:55 PM CST

(Newser) – Rep. Tulsi Gabbard hasn't been onstage for the past five Democratic presidential debates. She faces long odds for the next one, too. The Democratic National Committee announced Friday that to qualify, candidates will need to have won at least 20 percent of the pledged delegates by March 15, when the debate is being held in Phoenix. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders will meet that threshold and would have the stage to themselves, Politico reports, but Gabbard has just two delegates—0.1 percent of the total available. Another 352 delegates are available in primaries Tuesday; even a sweep would leave her still a distant third, far behind Biden and Sanders, per NBC. Gabbard hasn't been eligible for a debate since November, but the DNC said Friday that another one, the 12th, is being planned.

Although her visibility has been low, Gabbard is still in the Democratic race. She'll be campaigning in Nevada this weekend, per CNN. Despite not breaking 1% in recent polls, Gabbard has said she's staying in until the convention, per Business Insider. The race has changed quickly, the Hill notes: Five of the seven candidates who participated in the last debate before this week's Super Tuesday primaries have now dropped out. (Read more Tulsi Gabbard 2020 stories.)

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