06 biden sanders split
Washington CNN  — 

The Democratic National Committee on Friday announced the criteria to qualify for the next Democratic primary debate, and the rules set up a face-off between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

The former vice president and Vermont senator have already met the delegate threshold outlined by the DNC in a news release, and have qualified for the CNN/Univision Arizona debate on March 15.

The criteria all but ensures Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, the only other Democratic candidate running for president, will not make the debate stage. Gabbard has won a total of two delegates from the nominating contests.

Gabbard qualified for some of the DNC debates in 2019, but the congresswoman has not met the debate thresholds this year, and and has not polled above 1% in recent national surveys.

Results from Super Tuesday are still being finalized and California has not been called, but as of Thursday afternoon, Biden had 604 delegates and Sanders had 534. Biden was projected to win 10 Super Tuesday states and Sanders was projected to win three.

To make the March 15 debate stage, candidates need to have been allocated at least 20% of the total number of pledged delegates allocated across all of the following contests: Alabama, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Democrats Abroad, Guam, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Vermont and Washington. The allocations need to have been made by by 9 a.m. ET on March 15.

The debate in Phoenix will take place before Arizona holds its Democratic primary on Tuesday, March 17. Votes will also be cast in Florida, Illinois and Ohio that same day.

The total delegate allocation will be determined by adding together all of the delegates allocated to candidates by CNN or the Associated Press, according to the DNC. The number of delegates needed to qualify for the debate will be determined by multiplying the total delegate allocation by 0.20 and rounding the result to the nearest whole number.

The candidates’ delegate percentage will be calculated by dividing the number of pledged delegates allocated to them by CNN or the Associated Press by the total delegate allocation and rounding the result to the nearest whole number.

CNN’s Dana Bash and Jake Tapper, along with Univision’s Jorge Ramos, will serve as moderators at the next Democratic presidential debate in Arizona. Univision’s Ilia Calderón also will facilitate audience questions at the event.

The DNC, in partnership with CHC Bold, the political action committee associated with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said the debate will be held at the Arizona Federal Theatre, the downtown venue long known as Comerica Theatre. It will air from 8 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET.