Houston, we have a problem. Tulsi Gabbard is missing from the debate stage.
#Tulsi2020 #LetTulsiSpeak #DemDebate #DNC
Number of Polls on 538 & Real Clear Politics with Gabbard over 2%: 30+
Number of DNC Qualifying Polls for Oct Debate: 6
Number of Polls DNC is Counting for Oct Debate: 3
The DNC’s third Democratic primary debate was held in Houston last week. But there’s just one problem (well maybe more): Tulsi Gabbard did not “qualify” to participate in the debate under a variety of complicated and arbitrary DNC rules. The DNC set a threshold that candidates must meet 2% in four DNC-certified polls in order to qualify for the third and fourth Democratic primary debates.
Tulsi Gabbard has exceeded 2% support in over 30 national and early-state polls, but only three of them being counted are on the DNC’s “certified” list.
But put aside for a moment the fact that Tulsi Gabbard has over 30 legitimate polls reported on 538 and Real Clear Politics where she is over 2% — and that FiveThirtyEight’s analysis shows she would have qualified for the September debate had the DNC’s rules accepted higher rating “B+” pollsters such as Emerson College and Suffolk University. And that the DNC’s limited list of 16 approved sponsors includes 3 that are rated “less accurate” by 538 than Emerson and Suffolk where Tulsi regularly polls higher (compared to NPR rated “B-“; Fox News rated “B”; and University of New Hampshire rated “B”). Additionally, NPR is rated the same as another non-DNC qualifying poll, Morning Consult. And pollsters such as SurveyMonkey received a “D-” accuracy rating but are still counted as legitimate sources when paired with DNC approved sponsors in the case of NBC’s July 19th poll. While some pollsters such as Suffolk are accepted with sponsoring organizations such as USA Today (where Tulsi didn’t qualify), they are not accepted by other reputable sponsors such as The Boston Globe (where did Tulsi did qualify).
Confused yet?? I feel ya.
This article outlines the 3 “DNC qualifying polls” that were not counted for Tulsi Gabbard and the corresponding DNC rules used to justify the disqualification. In addition to pointing out the issues related to lack of transparency in setting these arbitrary rules, it will also highlight the absurdity of not including a rule related to the use of which numbers polling sponsors should include — i.e. “registered voters” vs “all adults”. This is at the heart of the confusion in the latest disqualified poll from ABC/Washington Post.
First, let’s look at the DNC’s qualifying polls and rules. The qualification criteria for the September debate will also remain in place for October’s DNC-sanctioned debate. To qualify for the September and October debates, candidates must meet both the Polling Threshold and the Grassroots Fundraising Threshold (130,000 unique donors and 400 unique donors per state in at least 20 U.S. states — Tulsi Gabbard has already met this threshold).
For the polling threshold, candidates must receive 2% or more support in at least four polls (which may be national polls, or polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, and/or Nevada) meeting the following criteria:
1. Each poll must be sponsored by an approved organization, which presently includes the following: Associated Press, ABC News, CBS News, CNN, Des Moines Register, Fox News, Monmouth University, NBC News, New York Times, National Public Radio (NPR), Quinnipiac University, University of New Hampshire, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Washington Post, and Winthrop University. Any candidate’s four qualifying polls must be conducted by different organizations, or if by the same organization, must be in different geographical areas. The DNC and its media partners reserve the right to add a Nevada-specific poll sponsor to this list in the near future.
On this point, the DNC has no criteria for how they selected which 16 polling organizations are deemed “certified” — with many of the uncertified polls, including those conducted by highly reputable organizations such as The Economist and the Boston Globe, are ranked by Real Clear Politics and FiveThirtyEight as more accurate than some DNC “certified” polls. Again, Tulsi Gabbard has exceeded 2% support in over 30 national and early state polls, but only two of them being counted are on the DNC’s “certified” list.
In the September 11th CNN national poll Tulsi Gabbard received two percent, however the DNC will not count it because she already received 2% in CNN’s August 20th poll and the DNC rule states that “any candidate’s four qualifying polls must be conducted by different organizations, or if by the same organization, must be in different geographical areas.”
2. Each poll’s candidate support question must have been conducted by reading or presenting a list of Democratic presidential primary candidates to respondents. (Poll questions using an open-ended or un-aided question to gauge presidential primary support will not count).
In the July 3rd ABC/Washington Post poll Tulsi Gabbard received 2% from registered voters but because it was an “open-ended” question the DNC disqualified the result. The question (#5 in the survey) stated: “If the 2020 Democratic primary or caucus in your state were being held today, for whom would you vote?.” It followed with a question that said “Now I’ll read a list of candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. After I’ve read the full list, please tell me whom you’d vote for in the primary or caucus in your state.” On that question she received 1%.
3. Each polling result must be the top-line number listed in the original public release from the approved sponsoring organization/institution, whether or not it is a rounded or weighted number.
In the September 8th ABC/Washington Post poll Tulsi Gabbard received 2% with registered voters and 1% with “all adults.” This is where it gets murky.
Real Clear Politics, 538, and Washington Post all reported on the 2% based on this Washington Post-ABC News Poll. Meanwhile, ABC News reported their “topline” for Gabbard at 1% based on the release from Langer Research Associates.
The DNC is stating that the results in the 1% “All” column under Question 8 of the survey release are the qualifying results for this poll because they are the “top-line numbers as reported in the survey release itself.” This justification is based on the following DNC rule: “Each polling result must be the top-line number listed in the original public release from the approved sponsoring organization/institution”
However, Washington Post points to a different survey release (Washington Post-ABC News Poll) that is based on the 2% “Registered Voters” column of that question. Washington Post is an “approved sponsoring organization” and the “top-line number listed in the original public release” by them is the 2% result from Dem and Dem-leaning Registered Voters (Washington Post).
Given the DNC has no rules on whether “all adults” or “registered voters” poll numbers are to be used, then the 2% as reported from the Washington Post should be accepted under the same DNC rule that is being used to justify the ABC/Langer Release 1% “All” result.
Additionally, the state of the practice for accuracy is that pollsters place a higher value on registered/likely voter results than results featuring ‘all adults’. Not to mention that every other DNC qualifying poll has used “registered/likely voters” not “all adults” for the “top-line” number:
o 9/8/19 ABC/WaPo “All”, “Registered Voters”
o 9/8/19 CBS/You Gov (South Carolina, Nevada, Iowa, NH) All “Likely Voters”
o 8/28/19 Quinnipiac “Registered Voters”
o 8/26/19 Monmouth “Registered Voters”
o 8/20/19 CNN “Registered Voters”
o 8/15/19 Fox News “Likely Voters”
o 8/8/19 Monmouth “Likely Voters”
o 8/6/19 Quinnipiac “Registered Voters”
o 7/29/19 Quinnipiac “Registered Voters”
o 7/25/19 Fox News “Likely Voters”
o 7/25/19 Monmouth “Likely Voters”
o 7/25/19 Quinnipiac “Registered Voters”
o 7/21/19 CBS YouGov “Likely Voters”
o 7/19/19 NBC SurveyMonkey Tennessee, Mississippi, Georgia, Alabama, Colorado, and National “Registered Voters”
o 7/17/19 Quinnipiac “Likely Voters”
o 7/16/19 UNH New Hampshire “Likely Voters”
o 7/11/19 Fox News “Likely Voters”
o 7/11/19 NBC WSJ “Likely Voters”
o 7/3/19 ABC/WaPo “All”, “Registered Voters”
Meanwhile in New Hampshire….Tulsi Gabbard is ranked in sixth place just after Harris on Real Clear Politics’ polling averages. She reached 6% support in an Emerson Poll of New Hampshire voters released Tuesday, September 10th. A Boston Herald-Franklin Pierce University poll yesterday showed Gabbard at 3% — -ahead of candidates who made the debate stage this evening like Beto O’Rouke and Julian Castro. And today, a new No-Labels New Hampshire poll shows Gabbard moving into 4th place in the New Hampshire primary at 6 percent in a virtual tie with Senator Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.
So if you’re still reading this don’t be discouraged, there’s still a lot of time left in the primary and when asked if she was dropping out of the race Tulsi Gabbard’s response was “Hell No!” The DNC may be keeping Tulsi Gabbard off the debate stage tonight, but we’ll see what they have to say after the New Hampshire primary. We aren’t going anywhere!