Vice President Joe Biden will get an invitation to take the stage in the first Democratic presidential primary debate if he enters the race, according to eligibility criteria released by CNN, even if he declares his candidacy on Oct. 13, the day of the debate.
So far, all five declared candidates — former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, ex-Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, and former Virginia Gov. Jim Webb — have already been invited to the first Democratic National Committee-sanctioned debate, to be held at the Wynn Las Vegas resort, reports Politico.
Candidates must have achieved an average of one percent in three polls that are recognized by CNN and released between Aug 1 and Oct. 10 to be in the debate, but they must also have declared their candidacy by Oct. 14, meaning the vice president can still announce on debate day and qualify. Biden already has high polling results, even though he has not formally announced his candidacy.
At first, Chafee did not qualify for the debate, as the DNC had set the poll deadline for polls held within six weeks before the debate, meaning the cutoff was in Early September. However, by CNN's decision to extend its timeline into October, Chaffee qualified, as he reached one percent in two polls since early September. He also achieved one percent in Fox News and CBS News polls in early August, Politico reports.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper will moderate the debate, with Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash, CNN en Español Anchor Juan Carlos Lopez, and CNN anchor Don Lemon to ask questions. Lemon will also present questions submitted through Facebook, which is co-hosting the debate.
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