Andrew Yang Qualifies For December Democratic Presidential Debate

Democratic presidential candidate, entrepreneur Andrew Yang waves as he arrives at the 2020 Gun Safety Forum hosted by gun control activist groups Giffords and March for Our Lives at Enclave on October 2, 2019 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Ethan Miller / Getty Images

With the release of the new Quinnipiac University poll, Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang has hit 4 percent support in another Democratic National Committee (DNC)-approved poll and thus qualified for December’s Democratic presidential debate. The qualification comes just two and a half days before the Thursday deadline to meet both the donor and polling thresholds for the event. Politico notes the DNC will officially announce qualifying candidates after Thursday, but Yang nevertheless appears to have met both thresholds.

Per RealClearPolitics, the poll has given a boost to some while others have remained steady. Joe Biden is still the front-runner in the race with 28.7 percent average support. Bernie Sanders is second with 17.3 percent, and Elizabeth Warren is in third at 14.8 percent. Pete Buttigieg is in fourth with 9.2 percent support, Michael Bloomberg — who will not make the December debate — is in fifth with 5.3 percent, and Yang trails in sixth with 3 percent. Not far behind Yang is Amy Klobuchar, with 2.7 percent support.

The December 19 debate is hosted by POLITICO/PBS NewsHour and will be the smallest yet, with Kamala Harris and Beto O’Rourke having dropped out of the race and Cory Booker not on track to meet the event’s thresholds. Yang will take the stage alongside Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, Klobuchar, and Tom Steyer. The only other candidate close to qualifying is Tulsi Gabbard — she needs one more qualifying poll — who recently revealed that she would not be attending the debate regardless of whether she meets the criteria.

“For a number of reasons, I have decided not to attend the December 19th ‘debate’ — regardless of whether or not there are qualifying polls. I instead choose to spend that precious time directly meeting with and hearing from the people of New Hampshire and South Carolina.”

During the last debate, Yang received the least amount of speaking time for the fifth debate in a row. Yang responded by refusing to return to MSNBC — one of the hosts of the debate — until he received an apology from the network along with fair coverage of his campaign. Despite Yang’s lack of speaking time, he received praise for his solid performance. In an article for Forbes, writer and professional speaker Dana Brownlee noted Yang’s closing statement, which she called a “mic drop performance,” and praised his unorthodox but effective style.

“Connecting with an audience is a universally critical skill for virtually all leaders, and I’d just watched Andrew Yang give a master class to some of the nation’s best and brightest political veterans,” she wrote.