Harris becomes fifth candidate to qualify for December presidential debate

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE (D-Calif.) will join at least four other Democratic presidential hopefuls on the debate stage in December after notching 4 percent in a new national poll released Sunday.

To make the December debate, candidates have to amass the support of at least 200,000 unique donors and register 4 percent or more in four qualifying polls or 6 percent in two approved early voting state polls.

Prior to Sunday, Harris had met the donor threshold, but remained one qualifying poll away. That changed, however, after an NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey released Sunday morning showed her at 4 percent, an analysis of donor and polling data shows.

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Ian Sams, a spokesman for Harris’s campaign, confirmed to The Hill that the California senator qualified for the December debate, which is set to take place in Los Angeles on Dec. 19.

So far, four other candidates have qualified for the December debate: former Vice President Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE (D-Mass.), Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersThe Hill’s 12:30 Report: Milley apologizes for church photo-op Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness MORE (I-Vt.) and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegScaled-back Pride Month poses challenges for fundraising, outreach Biden hopes to pick VP by Aug. 1 It’s as if a Trump operative infiltrated the Democratic primary process MORE.

The debate qualification is welcome news for Harris, who has struggled in recent months to maintain the momentum she gained after a standout performance in the first Democratic debate in June.

Her campaign announced last week that it would lay off some staff from its headquarters in Baltimore and redeploy others to Iowa, the first-in-the-nation caucus state that Harris is betting on to keep her 2020 ambitions alive.

The December debate could include significantly fewer candidates than other debates this year. 

In addition to the five candidates who have qualified for the event, only two other candidates have met the 200,000-donor threshold set by the Democratic National Committee, Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy KlobucharHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Democrats demand Republican leaders examine election challenges after Georgia voting chaos Harris grapples with defund the police movement amid veep talk MORE (D-Minn.) and former tech executive Andrew YangAndrew YangGeorge Floyd protests show corporations must support racial and economic equality Andrew Yang discusses his universal basic income pilot program Andrew Yang on the George Floyd protests in Minneapolis MORE. Both still need to meet the polling requirement if they hope to be on the debate stage next month.

Rachel Frazin contributed.

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