Missing the second Democratic debate on November 14 would send a bad message, but there are also several important filing deadlines next month. For those not up on the intricacies of the nominating process, basically the primaries determine how many delegates are allotted to each candidate. They’re awarded proportionally based on total votes by district, so a candidate can pick up delegates even if they don’t win the primary. About 4,800 delegates will vote at the Democratic convention in July, so a candidate will need around 2,400 delegates to secure the nomination.
In order to get on the ballot in Alabama, Biden must sign a statement of candidacy with the state party, gather 500 signatures, and pay a $2,500 fee by November 6, according to ABC News. Alabama only has about 60 delegates, so missing that primary wouldn’t be a huge blow. But several states have filing deadlines later that month, each with their own requirements: Arkansas (November 9), New Hampshire (November 20), and Florida (November 30). If Biden still hasn’t entered by the end of the month, he’ll have given up on nearly 400 delegates.