DNC Tells Pollsters To Conduct More Polls After Pressure From Candidates Ahead Of Debate

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez speaks to the audience ahead of the Democratic presidential primary debate at Loyola Marymount University on December 19, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
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Amid criticism from Democratic presidential candidates Andrew Yang, Cory Booker, and Tom Steyer, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) has called on pollsters to conduct more surveys, The New York Times reports.

According to DNC chair Tom Perez’s spokeswoman, Xochitl Hinojosa, the fault lies for the lack of data lies on the polling organizations ⁠— not the committee.

“The DNC will not sponsor our own debate-qualifying polls of presidential candidates during a primary. The New York Times and the expansive list of 16 qualifying poll sponsors should conduct more independent polling.”

“Not conclusive obviously – but I am excited for there to be more polls in the field in the days ahead. Let’s do the work and grow the wave,” Yang tweeted in response to the news.

With the January 10 deadline to meet polling and donor criteria looming and the debate set for January 14, candidates like Yang have expressed the need for more surveys to provide a more accurate gauge of the changing Democratic field and more opportunities to qualify for the upcoming debate. As of now, no DNC-approved polls have been conducted since December 19.

Booker previously got eight other candidates to sign a letter calling for the polling thresholds for the January and February debates to be abolished. Along with Booker, the letter was signed by Yang, Steyer, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Julian Castro ⁠— who has since dropped out of the race.

The lack of surveys also led to American pollster Rasmussen Reports taking to Twitter to take shots at the DNC. The company called on Yang and his supporters, in particular, noting a recent poll from the company that put Yang at 6 percent among National Democratic Likely Voters. Rasmussen also plugged their analysis of the accuracy of the surveys used by the committee, which highlighted that the majority of 2016 pollsters did not predict the possibility of Trump’s 2016 victory.

Per KIRO-TV, just five candidates have qualified for January’s debate, which is sponsored by CNN and the Des Moines Register — Biden, Sanders, Warren, Klobuchar, and Buttigieg. Yang has hit the donor threshold and needs 5 percent or more in three more DNC-approved polls, while Booker has also met the donor threshold but has yet to meet any of the polling requirements. Steyer’s campaign says the billionaire has met the donor threshold and needs two more DNC-approved polls to take the stage.

Qualification for the January debate means candidates will also qualify for the three February debates set for February 7, February 19, and February 25.