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Wednesday deadline for Democratic debate could spell doom for some candidates

Here's who is in so far. Those who are left out could join the recent wave of departures from the race.

Candidates hoping to get on the stage for next month's third Democratic presidential debate have until Wednesday to qualify. As it sits now, 10 have met the two benchmarks needed to be invited to the Sept. 12 debate. Eleven more have not and time is running out.

Those who don't make it onto the stage will need to assess if their candidacies can survive going forward having missed not only the September debate but also an upcoming forum on climate change -- a key issue for Democratic voters who will choose the nominee.

Here are the ten candidates who have made it to the Sept. 12 debate.

  • Former Vice President Joe Biden 
  • Sen. Cory Booker
  • South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
  • Sen. Kamala Harris
  • Sen. Amy Klobuchar
  • Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren
  • Former technology executive Andrew Yang

If at least one more qualifies, the debate and candidates will be broken up into two nights, with the second happening on Sept. 13.

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To qualify, a candidate must have 130,000 unique donors and must have 2% support in at least four qualifying polls. That's a significant increase from the requirements for the first two debates which ended up with 10 candidates on two nights each.

Quinnipiac University and USA Today/Suffolk University released their qualifying polls Wednesday morning. Tom Steyer failed to qualify for the debate. He received under 1% in the USA Today poll and 0% in the Quinnipiac poll. 

According to FiveThirtyEight.com,  Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii needs to hit 2% in two polls. Author Marianne Williamson also has reached the donation threshold but has 2% in just one qualifying poll.

Those who miss the debate will also miss out on the Sept. 4 climate change forum to air on CNN. While all ten of the candidates who have already qualified for the Sept. 12 debate will appear, CNN says they will be in individual town halls -- meaning they will not all be on stage at the same time to contrast their viewpoints.

Those candidates left on the outside for the debate and climate forum will miss two chances in nine days to get their messages out to national audiences. That could lead to more of them leaving the race. 

Three candidates -- former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, Washington State Governor Jay Inslee and Massachusetts Rep. Seth Moulton -- have quit in the last two weeks. The New York Post on Saturday reported that former staffers of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand are urging her to drop out.

Another climate forum is planned for Sept. 20-21 on MSNBC.