The Democratic National Committee (DNC) affirmed on Tuesday that the requirements to participate in upcoming Democrat debates will go up — a sign that the DNC will forgo the rule that allowed a candidate to participate in a debate if he or she had a single pledged delegate.
The news coincides with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) gaining a delegate from American Samoa on Super Tuesday.
“We have two more debates– of course the threshold will go up,” DNC Communications Director Xochitl Hinojosa said on Tuesday.
“By the time we have the March debate, almost 2,000 delegates will be allocated. The threshold will reflect where we are in the race, as it always has,” she added:
We have two more debates– of course the threshold will go up. By the time we have the March debate, almost 2,000 delegates will be allocated. The threshold will reflect where we are in the race, as it always has.— Xochitl Hinojosa (@XochitlHinojosa) March 4, 2020
The announcement drew heavy criticism on social media, with several users accusing the DNC of shutting Gabbard out of the race.
“God forbid Tulsi gets back on the debate, right?” one asked.
“Funny how you waited, then, to make this change until *after* Tulsi earned a delegate,” another observed. “I’m not sure which I hate more, the DNC for this continued primary/debate rigging, or the voters who will just be good little sheep and vote for your corrupt party anyway.”
Gabbard has battled the Democrat establishment over the course of her presidential bid. She told reporters in January that CNN never gave her an explanation as to why it excluded her from its series of town halls with Democrat candidates — candidates including Deval Patrick, whose performance fell below Gabbard’s in the national polls.