Tulsi Gabbard doesn’t qualify for Iowa Democrats’ event
(CNN) — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard did not meet the threshold to speak at Friday’s Iowa Democratic Party Liberty and Justice Celebration, which is expected to be attended by 14 other Democratic presidential candidates.
To qualify for the event, candidates could either open at least two field offices in the state with at least 10 dedicated field organizing staff or buy the Iowa Democratic Party’s voter file, according to Jonah Hermann, the spokesman for the state Democratic Party. A voter file is a digital database of official, publicly available government records of who is registered to vote and who voted in past elections.
“To our knowledge,” Hermann said, “the congresswoman did neither of those things.”
CNN has reached out to the Gabbard campaign for comment.
The event in Des Moines is described as the “premier event of the caucus season” by the Iowa Democratic Party. Iowa is a key early-voting state, and its first-in-the-nation caucuses will take place on February 3.
Gabbard, a Hawaii Democrat, is one poll away from qualifying for November’s presidential debate, which will be co-hosted by MSNBC and The Washington Post. Candidates need to receive 3% or more support in at least four polls approved by the Democratic National Committee (either national or single-state polls in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada) or receive 5% or more in two of the accepted early-state polls. Gabbard has already hit the required donor mark of 165,000 separate contributors, including a minimum of 600 donors each in at least 20 states or territories.
Author Marianne Williamson also did not qualify for the Iowa event, after failing to qualify for the September or October presidential debates. Gabbard did not qualify for the September debate, but did for October.
The candidates slated to speak at the Iowa event are Sen. Michael Bennet of Colorado, former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro, former Rep. John Delaney of Maryland, Sen. Kamala Harris of California, Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, former Rep. Beto O’Rourke of Texas, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, businessman Tom Steyer, Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and businessman Andrew Yang.
Gabbard — who received 1% support in a CNN poll conducted by SSRS last week — announced last week that she wouldn’t run for reelection to Congress in 2020, focusing instead on continuing her bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
The congresswoman’s campaign was recently thrust into the spotlight when 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton suggested Gabbard was a favorite of the Russians and was being groomed for a third-party run. Gabbard strongly denied the claim, and had previously publicly ruled out a third-party bid.