Entrepreneur and 2020 presidential hopeful Andrew Yang was undoubtedly celebrating Wednesday morning after receiving official word that he will be appearing in the third round of Democratic debates, which will be held in Houston, Texas, in September.
The deadline for meeting criteria to appear in the third debate, set forth by the Democratic National Committee, was passed at midnight on Wednesday. To make the cut, a candidate was required to have at least 130,000 donors and snag 2 percent support in four public opinion polls, according to National Review.
Yang, who has managed to capitalize on recent headlines and his debate performances, is still seen as one of the dark horse outsiders, given his virtually nonexistent name recognition prior to entering the large Democratic field of candidates.
Fellow outsider candidate, author and self-help guru Marianne Williamson, managed to meet the donor threshold, but only managed to reach 2 percent in one poll, falling short of the four needed to qualify.
Another rising star in the Democratic outsider field, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, also failed to meet the criteria for the third debate. Gov. Steve Bullock and Sen. Michael Bennett failed as well.
David Brock, a Democratic fundraiser, explained that not appearing in the third debate can be seen as a potentially critical failure for one’s 2020 political aspirations.
“The field is cut in half overnight, basically. That’s clarifying. It’s important to get all the major candidates on stage together,” Brock said, according to NBC News.
“But on the other hand, there’s a lot of chatter about the candidates who got boxed out, they would say unfairly. I think it’s really tough if you’re not in the debate to have any hope.”
Yang, who was all but considered irrelevant in the first round of debates, began making waves after the second round of debates, in which he was widely praised for his solid performance.
Also impressive to many is the fact that Yang has been consistently polling above more recognizable names such as Sen. Cory Booker and former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke, not to mention that he beat out several sitting Democratic politicians in making the third round of debates.
10 candidates have qualified for the third Democratic debate:— Vox (@voxdotcom) August 28, 2019
Today is the last day to make the cut — and no new polls are known to be coming. https://t.co/j0lj8WsnAg
Yang, who is running his campaign on a universal basic income plan — which would provide all Americans over the age of 18 an extra $1,000 per month — is currently sitting in second place at 2.5 percent, according to the Real Clear Politics rolling average.
The third round of debates, which will be hosted by ABC, will take place on a single night, since only 10 Democratic candidates were able to make the cut.