Tulsi Gabbard may have just qualified for the next Democratic debate thanks to American Samoa

Associated PressDemocratic presidential candidate U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii speaks to Democrats gathered at the Spratt Issues Conference in Greenville, S.C., Saturday, Dec. 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)
  • Under the most recent rules, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii may have qualified for the next televised debate by snagging a delegate in American Samoa’s primary.
  • Later on Tuesday night, a DNC official said the delegate threshold “will go up” to qualify for future debates.
  • Gabbard is the fifth major candidate remaining in the race despite not qualifying for the debate stage recently and failing to crack the top five in any of the first four states.
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One surprise winner of Super Tuesday could end up being Rep. Tulsi Gabbard.

While the rules for the next debate have not been released by the DNC, the most recent thresholds have allowed candidates to qualify if they performed well enough to earn a delegate in the primary so far.

There are also polling thresholds – which Gabbard has failed to meet several times in a row – but her performance in the territory of American Samoa could put her in the game, however one DNC official said that the delegate threshold “will go up.”

Even the most dialed in debate observers did not know what to make of the development early Tuesday evening.

The delegate heard around politics Twitter was later met with a response from the DNC’s communications director.

Xochitl Hinojosa, the DNC’s communications director, indicated that the delegate threshould would go up to “reflect where we are in the race, as it always has.”

Despite a series of poor performances – including a seventh place finish in New Hampshire, where she rented a house for months ahead of the Feb. 11 voting day – Gabbard has vowed to stay in the race until the convention.

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