Strict Criteria May Winnow The Democratic Debate Field

Strict Criteria May Winnow The Democratic Debate Field

If the last two (or four) debates between the Democratic hopefuls for president have proven anything, it’s that it is time to thin the herd.

Twenty candidates over two nights, twice, is enough, don’t you think? It’s OK, you can disagree. But Sen. Elizabeth Warren has yet to be on the same stage with frontrunner, former Vice President Joe Biden. Let’s see that happen.

And considering all the incoming he took, seems like many wannabe Democratic nominees thought there was an 11th person on stage Wednesday night – President Barack Obama.

Apparently BetOnline feels the same way as it is offering odds on which candidates will drop out first.

The next debate is scheduled, again, to cover two nights: Sept. 12-13 in Houston, Texas.

This debate however has stricter criteria to make the stage, so if 10 or fewer candidates qualify the debate will be a one-nighter.

Candidates have several benchmarks that need to be hit by Aug. 28 to ensure they’ll be debating in Houston. Those criteria are 130,000 “unique’ donors and log at least two percent support in four polls.

According to analysts, the criteria is tough to hit and nearly half the candidates could fall short. A New York Times analysis of donor numbers and polls shows that no more than a dozen will make it to Houston.

So far, seven are shoo-ins: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, South Bend (Ind.) Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.

Those on the cusp of being on stage are: Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former HUD Secretary Julian Castro and entrepreneur Andrew Yang.

Those struggling to remain behind a podium are impeachment supporter Tom Steyer, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado.

The remaining candidates who have a lot of work to do because, right now, they aren’t remotely close to being on the Houston stage are: Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, New York Mayor Bill De Blasio, Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, Miramar (FL) Mayor Wayne Messam, Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan, former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Stestak, and author Marianne Williamson.

The wagers on BetOnline are:

Which candidate will drop out first?

  • Beto O’Rourke +100
  • Julian Castro -140

Which candidate will drop out first?

  • Cory Booker -200
  • Andrew Yang +150

Which candidate will drop out first?

  • Kirsten Gillibrand -300
  • Tulsi Gabbard +200

Which candidate will drop out first?

  • Bill De Blasio +150
  • John Hickenlooper +200
  • Michael Bennet +200
  • Tim Ryan +400
  • John Delaney +700