DNC sets date for October presidential primary debate

Democratic debates in Detroit
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On stage: Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, Andrew Yang, Bill de Blasio, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris.

The October Democratic presidential primary debate will take place in Ohio on October 15 with a potential second debate the following night if enough candidates qualify, according to an email sent by the Democratic National Committee to the 2020 democratic presidential campaigns and provided to CNN by a source.

The DNC said it will release more information on the venue and news outlet hosting the debate in the coming days.

The October debate will retain the same heightened qualification threshold as the debate set for September 12 — a 2% polling threshold in four qualifying polls and at least 130,000 unique donors including 400 donors each from at least 20 states. Qualifying polls released between June 28 and 11:59 p.m. ET on October 1 will count toward certification to participate in the debate and certification materials will be due to the DNC by 11:00 a.m. ET on October 2, according to the email.

This polling window means that candidates who qualified for the September debate will automatically qualify for the October contests. It gives candidates who did not qualify in September additional time to make the next debate stage.

Qualifying for the October debate will be an important target for candidates excluded in September after the raised polling and fundraising criteria slashed the crowded primary field in half with 10 qualifying candidates.

The first two rounds of debates held in June and July have already brought explosive moments with meaningful polling and fundraising implications.

Most notably, California Sen. Kamala Harris made steep polling gains — as high as 17% nationally — after attacking democratic frontrunner and former Vice President Joe Biden over his record on issues of race and busing. An August CNN poll, however, showed Harris has moved back to 5%.

CNN’s David Wright and Jeff Zeleny contributed to this report.