The Democratic National Committee has rejected a request from Andrew Yang for the party to do more polls in early voting states to make up for the lack of them during the holiday season.
Yang had argued that the lack of qualifying polls for the next debate may keep him and other candidates off the stage, as the DNC has created a set of arbitrary rules that happen to help exclude their non-preferred candidates.
To qualify for the next debate, candidates must have 5% support or higher in at least four pre-approved polls between November 14 and January 10. There was only one qualifying poll from Iowa, New Hampshire or Nevada released in the last 38 days.
The Hill reports that Yang sent a letter to DNC Chairman Tom Perez on December 21, requesting that the party commission four polls before the January 10 qualifying deadline for next month’s debate.
“In an ideal world, with enough time for polls to be put into the field and for the results to come back, I’m certain that myself and a few other candidates would qualify for the January 14 debate with ease,” Yang wrote in his letter.
“But with the upcoming holidays and meager number of polls currently out in the field … a diverse set of candidates might be absent from the stage in Des Moines for reasons out of anyone’s control,” he added. “This is a troubling prospect for our party. Regardless of the DNC’s best intentions, voters would cry foul and could even make unfounded claims of bias and prejudice.”
Yang has reached the donor threshold for the debate, but has only qualified in one poll.
In an email to the news outlet, before they even bothered to respond to Yang, a spokesperson for the DNC said that they would rather spend their money on “defeating Trump” than commissioning more qualifying polls.
“The DNC has been more than inclusive throughout this entire process with an expansive list of qualifying polls, including 26 polls for the December debate, more than half of which were state polls,” the spokesperson said.
“The DNC will not sponsor its own debate qualifying polls of presidential candidates during a primary. This would break with the long standing practice of both parties using independent polling for debate qualification, and it would be an inappropriate use of DNC resources that should be directed at beating Donald Trump,” the spokesperson added.
In response to being snubbed by the DNC while they responded to media inquiries, Yang’s campaign blasted the party’s priorities.
“The DNC chose to respond to the press before they responded to Andrew Yang,” a senior campaign official said. “That should be a key indicator of what their priorities are.”
Yang was one of only seven candidates who qualified for the December debate.