COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The number of candidates on stage for the third Republican presidential debate will be the smallest yet.
Five candidates will participate in Wednesday night’s debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami-Dade County, according to the Republican National Committee.
To qualify for the third debate, candidates had to obtain at least 4% support in two national polls or 4% in a national poll as well as in two polls from four of the early voting states: Iowa, New Hampshire , Nevada and South Carolina. All surveys used for qualification must have been approved by the RNC.
White House candidates also needed at least 70,000 unique donors, including at least 200 from 20 states or territories. Additionally, they had to sign an RNC pledge promising to support the party’s eventual nominee.
The increasing qualification criteria have become increasingly difficult for candidates to meet. One candidate, former Vice President Mike Pence, suspended his campaign last month, avoiding the ignominy of failing to qualify.
An overview of the candidates’ position:
The candidates who will be on the debate stage
At first, the Florida governor was seen as Donald Trump’s main rival, finishing far behind the current Republican Party front-runner in state and national early-voting polls but raising an impressive amount of money .
DeSantis recently moved part of his Florida-based team to Iowa, placing his chances of emerging as an alternative to Trump squarely on the leading state. This week, he gained the much-sought support of Gov. Kim Reynolds.
The South Carolina senator hoped the debates could give his campaign a needed boost after it struggled to catch fire compared to rivals. But there were questions about whether he would even take the stage in Miami, given the high demands of the election.
In a pre-debate memo shared with The Associated Press on Monday, Scott’s campaign manager sought to pit his candidate against DeSantis and Haley, saying Scott planned to ask how either could “present a contrast with Donald Trump during each of their political careers. .”
The only Republican woman on stage – and on the ground – Haley has benefited from renewed attention after each of the previous debates, as well as the campaign’s shift toward foreign policy following Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on the 7th. october.
As she and DeSantis have stepped up their attacks on issues such as Israel’s war with Hamas and China’s influence, Wednesday night’s debate offers them an opportunity to face off in person.
The political newcomer and youngest GOP hopeful has been the target of debate-stage attacks over his lack of experience — jabs that have already helped boost both Ramaswamy’s campaign coffers and his name in the vast republican field.
After the second debate in September, Ramaswamy asked the RNC to change its rules for the third, requesting that participation be limited to four candidates, with a one-time donor requirement of 100,000. The party kept its rules as is.
While many of his Republican rivals have gone all-in on Iowa ahead of the state’s early caucuses, the former New Jersey governor often has New Hampshire all to himself.
Christie has charted his course as Trump’s most vocal critic, presenting himself as the only Republican willing to confront him directly and arguing that Trump will lose to President Joe Biden next November if he is the party’s nominee.
Without Trump at the debates, Christie found himself without his target, but brought him up nonetheless. In September, Christie looked directly into the camera and said that if Trump continued to skip debates, he would deserve a new nickname: “Donald Duck.”
Here’s who decided not to participate (yet)
The current GOP front-runner is skipping his third straight debate, this time choosing to host his own competitive event a half-hour away in Hialeah, Florida.
Trump says he’s opting out of debates because he doesn’t want to elevate his less well-positioned opponents by being on stage with them.
Here’s who qualified for previous debates, but not this one
Burgum, a former software entrepreneur who is now in his second term as governor of North Dakota, will miss his first debate of the cycle after failing to meet ballot requirements.
The former two-term Arkansas governor participated in the first debate but failed to qualify for the second. He said in a statement after missing the second debate that his goal was to increase his polling numbers to 4 percent before Thanksgiving.
“If this goal is achieved, then I remain competitive and in contention for Caucus Day or Primary Day,” he wrote in September.
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