Inslee Inches Closer to Qualifying for Third Presidential Debate

Democratic presidential candidate Washington Governor Jay Inslee speaks during a Columbia Climate Strike rally at Columbia University in New York on March 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

(CN) – Washington Governor Jay Inslee is a little closer to qualifying to appear in the third Democratic presidential debate after passing the 130,000 unique donor threshold Monday.  

In order to participate in the next round of Democratic presidential debates – to be held in Houston on September 12 and 13 – candidates must have 130,000 unique donors, including 400 unique donors in at least 20 states, and hit at least 2% in four national or certain state polls released between June 28 and August 28. 

The polls must be approved by the Democratic National Committee, which has made it more difficult to appear in the third debate than it was to appear in the first two debates, when candidates only needed to hit 1% in three polls or get donations from 65,000 individual donors.  

Inslee, who has focused his campaign on climate change policy, hit the 130,000 donors mark Monday, but he has not met the polling requirement. 

Although it is still unclear whether he will meet all of the criteria to qualify in the next debate, the governor considers meeting the donor mark a “win.”

“This is an enormous win for climate activists and for the grassroots movement to defeat climate change,” Inslee said in a statement Monday. “Reaching 130,000 donors is a testament to the grassroots power of the climate movement – a movement that politicians can no longer ignore.” 

According to an early July Washington Post-ABC News poll, 62 percent of Americans disapprove of the Trump administration’s handling of climate change. 

Inslee’s climate plan includes ending fossil fuel subsidies and working towards transitioning to 100% clean energy. 

“Our campaign has experienced a surge of support since the July debates, because voters are responding to our clear call for climate action,” Inslee said in the statement. “Voters are demanding real action on climate, not platitudes, half-measures, or empty promises. I will make defeating climate change our nation’s top priority.”

Nine candidates – Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar and Andrew Yang – have qualified for the third Democratic debate so far. 

Julián Castro needs to reach 2% in one more poll to qualify. 

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