Michael Bennet

U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colorado, talked with 9News about his presidential bid in an early May 2019 interview.

Presidential candidate Michael Bennet got some good news Tuesday: At least the possibility of a ticket to the Miami debate stage.

The U.S. senator from Colorado has been on the debate bubble because of low polling scores.

But now, Harry Enten, a senior political writer and analyst for CNN, calculates that Bennet has high-enough poll numbers in three recent surveys that he has at least tentatively qualified for the first debate of Democratic candidates on June 25-26.

A CNN national survey released Tuesday showed Bennet with 1% support. And, says Enten, that makes 1% scores for the Coloradan in three recent polls being tracked by the Democratic National Committee to determine debate eligibility.

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The DNC says it plans to have only 20 of the two dozen or so Democratic hopefuls on stage in Miami, and it's using poll numbers to weed out the field.

For Miami, the DNC wants candidates to show 1% or greater support in three approved polls, and/or to gather campaign contributions from at least 65,000 unique donors, of which at least 200 donors must be in each of 20 states.

But Enten adds that Bennet is not yet a lock for a debate invitation: "He's now the 20th to qualify for the debates, according to CNN. If one more candidate qualifies amongst this group -- Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam; or Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton -- Bennet may left out of the debates via a tiebreaker."

A tiebreaker could involve requiring candidates to meet the poll threshold AND the contributions totals.

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What's more, only 44% of those surveyed in the CNN poll had ever heard of Bennet. So clearly, he needs national debate exposure to have much chance of advancing in the crowded ranks of candidates.

Some 15.3 million people watched the initial debate of 2016 Democratic presidential candidates in October 2015.

The CNN poll was conducted by SSRS on May 28-31. On May 30, Bennet gained national exposure via a CNN Town Hall broadcast.

It's generally viewed that Bennet's Colorado rival, John Hickenlooper, has a better shot at a ticket to Miami. He scored 2% in the new CNN poll among Democrats registered to vote.




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