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Tulsi Gabbard makes next Democratic debate field — slams impeachment as ‘incredibly divisive’

2019-09-24

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard has scored a spot at the next Democratic debate — and may be one of the few voices against impeaching President Trump on the stage.

The Hawaii lawmaker scored high enough numbers in recent polls to make the cut, raising to 12 the number of candidates expected to be included in the October debate.

Unless some candidates drop out, the debate will likely be held over two nights, even though voters say there are way too many candidates and they don’t like the split format.

Gabbard evokes strong feelings from Democratic voters.

Her small but impassioned group of supporters trumpet her record as a military veteran who has campaigned against American entanglement oversees.

Opponents say she’s a political opportunist who played footsie with Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, sought to curry favor with President Trump and was a staunch opponent of gay marriage until she did a 180 flip on the issue.

Gabbard is also one of the only staunch opponents of impeachment left in the Democratic field.

“Impeachment at this juncture would be terribly divisive for the country at a time when we are already extremely divided," Gabbard told Fox News. "The hyperpartisanship is one of the main things driving our country apart.”

Aside from Gabbard, the only other new face at the October debate is likely to be billionaire Tom Steyer.

Spirituality author Marianne Williamson has already surpassed the 130,000-donor threshold. But she needs to register at 2% or higher in at least three more qualifying polls, a mark that she seems unlikely to surpass.

Qualifying for the November debate will be even tougher, with candidates required to score 3% in national polls or 5% in early state polls to make the stage. So far just five front runners have cleared that bar.