Election 2020 Bernie Sanders

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Bernie Sanders speaks during a rally at Discovery Green on April 24 in Houston. 

The Democratic National Committee announced Wednesday new debate requirements for the third Democratic presidential primary debate after close to 20 candidates will likely qualify for the first two debates.

Candidates will be required to get 130,000 individual donors along with 2% in at least four different approved polls. For the first two debates, candidates only need 65,000 individual donors and 1% in three different approved polls. The third debate is being held on Sept. 12, with the potential for a second debate on Sept. 13 if enough candidates qualify.

Of the two dozen declared candidates, close to the maximum of 20 candidates have qualified for the first Democratic debate with a handful of candidates missing the mark.

Under the new criteria, only eight candidates have reached the 2% polling requirement, and only four campaigns — Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Vermont independent; South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg; Sen. Kamala Harris of California; and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts — have announced they reached 130,000 donors.

Even some of the bigger-name candidates, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, who are both averaging below 2% in polls, could struggle to make the third debate stage without a boost in support.

Candidates are required to meet both the polling and donor requirement to qualify for the third debate, unlike the first two debates where candidates could qualify by meeting one of the requirements. 

The third debate will be broadcast by ABC News and Univision.

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