Now that Sen. Kamala Harris has dropped out of the 2020 presidential race, the Democratic Party is concerned that the remaining candidates who will participate in the next debate are all white.
Even though she qualified for the December debate, the California Democrat announced the suspension of her campaign in a tweet on Tuesday morning.
To my supporters, it is with deep regret—but also with deep gratitude—that I am suspending my campaign today.
But I want to be clear with you: I will keep fighting every day for what this campaign has been about. Justice for the People. All the people.https://t.co/92Hk7DHHbR
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) December 3, 2019
With Harris out of the running, there are only six other candidates who qualify for the next debate: former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and billionaire Tom Steyer.
Businessman Andrew Yang, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Cory Booker and former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro have until Dec. 12 to meet the Democratic National Committee’s requirements to qualify for the next debate.
In order to qualify, each candidate has to earn at least 4 percent support in four approved polls and at least 6 percent support in two early state polls, according to the Washington Post.
Candidates also have to reach a donation minimum of at least 200,000 unique donors with 800 unique donors in at least 20 states.
Gabbard and Yang both meet the donor requirement, but they still have to earn support in the fourth poll. Booker meets the donor requirement but does not have at least 4 percent support in any poll.
Castro does not meet either requirement and also did not qualify for the November debate.
During an interview with Chris Hayes on Tuesday, Booker expressed his concerns with the lack of diversity on the upcoming debate stage.
“We’re spiraling towards a debate stage that potentially — we’re still fighting to get on it — but could have six people with no diversity whatsoever,” Booker said.
“The way this is shaping up, especially with the rules of the DNC, it is preferencing millionaires and billionaires and a lot of other things that don’t ever translate into viability in Iowa.”
Democratic strategist Michael Starr Hopkins also blamed the DNC’s debate-qualifying rules for the lack-of-diversity “disaster.”
“The DNC thought it would help progressives demonstrate support, but it ended up hurting campaigns like Harris, Booker, and Castro,” Hopkins told Fox News.
“Instead of focusing on building infrastructure, they had to spend insane amounts on donor lists to get on the debate stage.”
He added, “African Americans and people of color are the base of the Democratic Party and it’s problematic to not have a single candidate on stage that represents the diverse constituency of the Democratic Party. It could certainly affect turnout.”
Twitter users also lamented the all-white debate stage, with Third Way’s Jim Kessler calling it “sickening.”
At this point, we have 7 Democrats qualified for the December debate stage and they are all white. This is sickening.
— Jim Kessler (@ThirdWayKessler) December 3, 2019
No matter your candidate, you have to recognize that going from the most diverse field ever in January to a potentially all-white debate stage in December is catastrophic.
The implicit racism and sexism of “electability” is deeply damaging to democracy.
— Leah Greenberg (@Leahgreenb) December 3, 2019
“The implicit racism and sexism of ‘electability’ is deeply damaging to democracy,” Leah Greenberg of the Indivisible Team tweeted.