Bullock announces presidential run

According to a report by Politico Thursday, Montana Governor Steve Bullock has not met the threshold to be invited to the stage for the upcoming Democratic National Committee debate.

In response to the DNC’s announcement today of a secret rule change for debate qualification, the Bullock for President Campaign released the following statement and below memo:

"While Governor Bullock was expanding Medicaid to one in ten Montanans despite a nearly 60% Republican legislature, the DNC was making arbitrary rules behind closed doors. The DNC's unmasking of this rule unfairly singles out the only Democratic candidate who won a Trump state — and penalizes him for doing his job."
— Jenn Ridder, Bullock Campaign Manager

DNC’s Secret Rule Could Block Only Dem Who Won a Red State
Today, just seven days from the debate cutoff, the DNC decided to change its publicly declared rules for qualifying for the first debate. The new rule from the DNC disqualifies a poll from theWashington Post/ABC that had been included by the DNC's previously announced criteria.

This secret rule change affects only one candidate — Governor Steve Bullock. That means the DNC is singling out the only Democrat who won a Trump state, and potentially blocking him from the debate stage. Because Governor Bullock waited to get into the race until he passed Medicaid expansion for nearly 100,000 Montanans, this effectively punishes Governor Steve Bullock for doing his job and finishing out his legislative session.

By not publicly announcing this rule until one week before the debate qualifying deadline, by stonewalling repeated reporter requests about the rule, by excluding an open-ended poll that’s actually harder to register in, and by not sharing the rule in writing with all presidential campaigns, the DNC rule could block the only Democrat who won in a Trump state from the stage. 

If Democrats want to win back the places we lost like Michigan and Wisconsin, the DNC shouldn’t bar the only Democrat who has won a Trump state. If Democrats want to win back middle America and not leave out the voice of rural voters, the DNC can’t just focus on patches of deep blue. 

Governor Bullock Was Doing His Job
Governor Bullock was one of the last candidates to declare his candidacy because he is the sitting Governor of a red state with a nearly 60% Republican legislature that meets for just 90 days every two years. Instead of spending money on hitting arbitrary thresholds, he spent January through May expanding Medicaid, freezing college tuition, banning foreign money from state elections, and protecting a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions.

At every opportunity, Governor Bullock will choose to improve the lives of everyday people over appeasing a handful of Washington insiders — it’s exactly why he’s running for President. 

The DNC's Original Rules For Debate Qualification
The DNC publicly announced rules for debate qualification on February 14, 2019. It included four requirements for a poll to be considered “qualifying.”

Polling Rules

Time: Poll must be released between Jan. 1st and two weeks before the debate.
Source: Poll must be from one of 18 approved organizations.
Sample: Poll must be national, IA, NH, SC, or NV.
Share: Candidates must get 1% or more in a poll. 

Bullock’s Qualifying Polls

Washington Post/ABC News, 2/8/2019

Des Moines Register, 3/9/19

Reuters/Ipsos, 4/24/2019


The Washington Post/ABC Poll Counts Under Original Public Rules

In addition to meeting the DNC’s four metrics for qualifying, the Washington Post/ABC poll met additional benchmarks:

  • Poll was deemed to meet public rules by several news organizations:
  • Poll comes from two approved organizations:
    • Washington Post
    • ABC

An open-ended poll is actually harder to register in, as voters must name their preferred candidate without reading from a list of names.

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