MIAMI, Florida — Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) told Breitbart News on Thursday evening that he was confident he would qualify for the second Democratic Party presidential primary debate, despite missing the cut for the first.
Moulton, a retired Marine Corps combat veteran who upset incumbent Democrat Rep. John Tierney in 2014, greeted supporters outside the Adrienne Arsht Center, snapping selfies with members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
His campaign has been running ads throughout the two nights of the Democratic debate, in the hope of raising his public profile to the point where he would qualify for the second session next month in Detroit. He told Breitbart News that “the polls are ticking in that direction,” and said that former president Jimmy Carter had been at less than one percent at this point in 1975, and former president Bill Clinton had been at less than two percent in 1991.
Moulton will have a steep hill to climb. As fivethirtyeight.com notes, the Democratic National Committee’s rules for qualifying are the same for both of the first two debates: “A candidate must earn either 1 percent support in at least three qualifying national or early-state polls or 65,000 unique donors.” Moulton has met neither the donor threshold nor the polling requirement. And if he does meet those criteria, he will have to prevail through a DNC tie breaking rule. The party will not expand the number of candidates onstage beyond the 20 currently appearing over two nights.
Still, Moulton is optimistic. Asked by Breitbart News whether he has a unique message that will push him over the top, Moulton — accompanied by aide Marie Harf, formerly of Fox News and the Obama administration — said that his core message remains that he is the only candidate who has led troops into combat, and that he can unify the country.
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) and South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg also both have military experience.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.