(NEWSER) – The next Democratic debates are shaping up to have fewer candidates than the first pair, which had 20 apiece. On Thursday, entrepreneur Andrew Yang became the ninth candidate to qualify by reaching 2 percent in a new Monmouth University poll, reports Politico. The other eight already in the mix: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren. The Monmouth poll of expected Iowa caucus-goers had Biden on top with 28 percent, followed by Warren (19 percent), Harris (11 percent), Sanders (9 percent), and Buttigieg (8 percent). To qualify for the next round of debates in September and October, candidates must hit 2 percent in four polls and have 130,000 unique donors, per the New York Times.
Other candidates in striking distance include Julian Castro, who needs just one more 2 percent finish in a poll; Kirsten Gillibrand, who needs 30,000 more donors and three more qualifying poll finishes; and Tulsi Gabbard, who also needs three more qualifying polls but has hit the 130,000-donor mark. Late entrant Tom Steyer hit 3 percent in the new poll and needs just one more qualifying finish, and his deep pockets could generate ads that will bring him to the donor mark, notes the Times. (Yang is proposing that Americans receive a $1,000 monthly Universal Base Income.)