5 Candidates Qualify for Third GOP Presidential Primary Debate – The Republican National Committee revealed that only five presidential candidates from the Republican party will take part in Wednesday night’s primary debate in Miami, marking the smallest lineup thus far. The participants in the third debate include Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
Notably absent from the debate are former Vice President Mike Pence, who suspended his campaign last month, and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, who participated in the previous debate in September but didn’t meet the new polling requirements to secure an invitation. Former President Donald Trump continues to opt out of the debate, as he is hosting a campaign rally in neighboring Hialeah, Florida, scheduled to commence shortly before the debate.
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To be eligible for the debate, candidates were required to achieve a minimum of 4 percent in polling, either in two national surveys or one national survey along with two surveys from early-nominating states. Additionally, they had to receive contributions from at least 70,000 individuals by the 8 p.m. deadline on Monday. The only point of contention leading up to Monday’s announcement revolved around Senator Scott, who hasn’t managed to reach the 4 percent threshold in national polls, even though he has stronger support in early primary states.
Scott seemed to meet the qualification due to a September YouGov poll that employed an unconventional method for identifying “likely voters,” which the RNC accepted. However, Scott, currently polling at around 2 percent nationally, faces a more challenging task in the next month’s debate in Alabama, as the polling requirement rises to 6 percent, a threshold that may pose a challenge for the South Carolina senator and Chris Christie.
With only five candidates participating, Wednesday’s event marks the smallest Republican primary debate since February 2016, when five Republicans gathered for the final debate before Super Tuesday. The participants in that debate were Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, then-Ohio Governor John Kasich, and Senator Marco Rubio of Florida.
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This Wednesday’s debate also holds the distinction of being the first in the primary campaign to be broadcast on national television, airing on NBC affiliates across the country. It is co-sponsored by NBC News, the Salem Radio Network, the Republican Jewish Coalition, and the streaming platform Rumble, and it commences at 8 p.m. Eastern Time.