…the 10 men and women not on the stage will argue that the Democratic National Committee’s rules on how to qualify for the Houston debate (2% in four early state or national polls and 130,000 individual donors) are unfair and favor front-runners. To argue that, of course, you have to say that 2% support is too high a bar, which is a tough case to make — especially with the primary and caucus season getting closer and closer.
The reality of this primary process is that if you aren’t on the stage in Houston next week, you aren’t going to be the Democratic nominee. You can keep running for president for as long as you’d like. But that’s not the same thing as having a viable shot at being the nominee.
Maybe harsh. But absolutely true.
Chris Cillizza and Harry Enten, “Our latest rankings of the 2020 Democratic candidates”, The Point (5 September 2019) [https://www.cnn.com/2019/09/05/politics/2020-democratic-presidential-candidates-ranked/index.html]