Gillibrand Complains About DNC’s Donor Threshold for Debates: ‘It’s Random and Inaccurate’

• May 13, 2019 10:55 am


Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D., N.Y.) griped about the Democratic National Committee's donor threshold for making the first primary debate stage next month, calling it "random and inaccurate."

Gillibrand, in spite of her large home state and national profile, has failed to reach the minimum number of 65,000 unique donations that would put her on the crowded debate stage on June 26 or 27 in Miami.

She's passed the other option—getting at least 1 percent in three national or early-state primary polls—but with only 20 slots available and at least 23 candidates running, the DNC will give the first spots to candidates who pass both requirements.

"That's an odd measurable," she told CNN of the donor number. "Like, why do you make that your measurable as opposed to have you won elections before and have you ever run statewide before and how many votes have you gotten before and have you passed legislation and are you effective in your job?"

Lesser-known political figures like entrepreneur Andrew Yang and author Marianne Williamson have both reached the donor number before Gillibrand.

"I think it's random and inaccurate, but it's their choice," Gillibrand said. "They're the DNC, so I'll follow the rules that are given and I'll have to play by the rules. … I don't think it's a measure of success. I don't think it's a measure of electability. I don't think it's a measure of quality of candidate. I think it's just a measurable about how many online folks like you, which is not determinative of any of the things that matter about whether I'd beat Trump. At all. Not at all."

Gillibrand may have achieved the polling threshold, but just barely. She's frequently polling at less than 1 percent in early-state polls and has been largely a non-factor in the gigantic field. She insisted she needs to continue getting her name out there and claimed to CNN that she's probably "having more fun" than her fellow Democratic contenders.

"What having followers is a measurable of is whether you're famous, it's a measure of whether people know enough about you to send you a dollar," she said.