By Brendan Burke, Copy Editor

The fifth Democratic debate will occur next Wednesday, Nov. 20 with 10 candidates taking the stage — compared to 12 candidates in October’s debate. Former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke has since dropped his bid for the primary and former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro has not met the requirements for the upcoming debate. The Democratic National Committee (DNC) raised the polling and donor threshold for this round in order to slim down the size of the field. 

For the fourth debate in October, candidates were required to have a minimum of 130,000 donors and be polling at least 2% approval in as many as four national polls approved by the DNC. The stakes have been raised higher because in order to qualify for the November debate in Atlanta, candidates need to have a minimum of 165,000 donors — including 600 donors from 20 different states. 

On top of that, they must have at least 3% approval in four DNC-approved polls, or they can meet the polling threshold by receiving a minimum of 5% approval in polls taken in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada — the four earliest primary and caucus states. With that said, the competition has started to stir within the Democratic field with top running candidates attempting to get an upper hand on the other and less popular candidates trying to achieve their breakout moment. 

Although it may seem that the DNC has successfully slimmed the field down to 10 candidates, the competition is far from over with an additional eight Democratic nominees pursuing their campaigns. On Thursday, former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced his bid for the Democratic primary very late in the process. Patrick insists that he can break through the already crowded field and had conversations with former President Barack Obama before he announced his campaign.

On top of yet another politician joining the race, former Secretary of State and 2016 winner of the Democratic primary Hillary Clinton stated this week that she will “never say never” to running in 2020. Despite the fact that she already stated she will not be running, Clinton said that many people have asked her to run and she is still open to being a nominee. 

If the Democratic party has any hopes of winning in 2020, the number of candidates at the debates needs to be cut in half and no more people can continue to announce bids. Clinton ran a great campaign in the last election, but she is surrounded by too much scandal that politicians have difficulty looking past. The Democrats need a clean, intelligent candidate that will be able to win over moderate voters and turn America blue once again. The future of this election is unknown, and I am very afraid that one candidate will not be the clear winner in July when it comes to choosing the winner of the primary.

Below is the list of candidates participating in next week’s debate. Check out Prospector Political Publish Week #6 where I will discuss the winners and losers of the debate.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Former Vice President Joe Biden

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg

California Sen. Kamala Harris

Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar 

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker

Tech entrepreneur Andrew Yang 

Billionaire hedge funder Tom Steyer

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard