The stage of the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate is seen before the first 10 of 20 total Democrats take to the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami, June 26, 2019.
The stage of the first U.S. 2020 presidential election Democratic candidates debate is seen before the first 10 of 20 total Democrats take to the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Performing Arts Center in Miami, June 26, 2019.

The race to pick which Democratic candidate will face U.S. President Donald Trump in next year's election is getting a little more clear.

What once was a contest that seemingly added entrants every day is starting to narrow from a field that at one point featured about 20 candidates.

FILE - Then-Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks at a news conference on the 9/11 victims fund on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, July 18, 2019. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand announced Wednesday she was dropping out of the race amid low poll numbers.

She was one of the candidates who did not qualify for the next debate set to take place in September.

The Democratic Party set up rules to determine who would be allowed to participate in the events where candidates have the chance to show head-to-head how they compare to their competitors.

Because so many people want to be the party's candidate in 2020, the first two debates were split over the course of two nights.  But the September field will be limited to just 10 candidates.

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Besides Gillibrand, Senator Michael Bennet, Montana Governor Steve Bullock, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, billionaire Tom Steyer and self-help guru Marianne Williamson failed to achieve the necessary 2% support in four polls and donations from 130,000 people.

None of the others who were excluded announced decisions to end their presidential runs.

But even before the final polls involved in choosing the next debate field came out Wednesday three candidates had already dropped out.  Washington Governor Jay Inslee, Congressman Seth Moulton and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper all abandoned their White House hopes.

That leaves the top polling candidates with the opportunity to further distance themselves from those at the bottom of the pack with the help of more time on a nationwide television broadcast.

They include former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Cory Booker, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, former Congressman Beto O'Rourke, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and the mayor of South Bend, Indiana Pete Buttigieg.

The field is sure to get smaller as the party holds monthly debates the rest of this year ahead of the first nominating contests in February.  The Democratic Party will officially choose its nominee at a convention in July 2020 with the presidential election taking place four months later.