(Politico) ZACH MONTELLARO 10/25/2019 10:59 AM The halfway mark of the Democratic debate calendar is coming up and the sixth debate will likely feature the smallest stage yet. New thresholds announced by the Democratic National Committee for the sixth debate which will be hosted by POLITICO and PBS on Dec. 19 in Los Angeles represent only a modest step up from the criteria for the next debate in November. But they could still seriously endanger the participation of all but the top five candidates. To make the December debate candidates must hit 4 percent support in at least four DNC-approved polls of primary voters nationally or in early-voting states (Iowa New Hampshire Nevada or South Carolina) or instead they can qualify by hitting 6 percent in two approved early-state polls. Candidates must also bring in donations from 200000 unique donors with a minimum of 800 donors in 20 states territories or the District of Columbia. The DNC has continuously stepped up the requirements to participate in successive debates throughout the year. The new thresholds will put pressure on Democratic candidates outside a top five Joe Biden Elizabeth Warren Bernie Sanders Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris who have routinely polled above 4 percent in approved surveys so far. Biden Warren and Sanders have already qualified for the December debate according to POLITICOs tracking (participation is not official until the DNC certifies candidates have passed the threshold after the deadline has passed). Buttigieg and Harris both need 4 percent support in one more poll to make it on stage. The qualification deadline is Dec. 12 a week before the debate.