5 candidates qualify for third GOP presidential primary debate
Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina narrowly made the stage, while North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum missed the cut.
Who are the 5 candidates?
The Republican National Committee revealed on Monday night that just five Republican contenders for president will take part in the smallest-ever primary debate on Wednesday night in Miami. Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, and Florida governor Ron DeSantis are the contenders for the third debate.
What happened to the other candidates?
Former vice president Mike Pence, who put an end to his campaign last month, and North Dakota governor Doug Burgum, who was eligible for the September debate but failed to receive an invitation due to the new polling threshold, are not included.
Once more, former president Donald Trump will not be participating in the debate. Instead, he will be hosting a campaign rally in nearby Hialeah, Florida, which is set to start just before the debate. Candidates had to raise at least $75,000 by Monday at 8 p.m. in order to be eligible for the debate. They also had to score at least 4% in polling from two national surveys, one national survey, and two surveys from the states that nominated their candidates early.
Possibly two candidates might walk away from the upcoming debates
The only controversy that existed before Monday's announcement concerned Scott, who is substantially stronger in the early going but has not been able to break 4 percent in national polls.
Thanks to a September YouGov poll that used a novel method of identifying "likely voters," which the RNC approved, Scott seemed to qualify. However, Scott's ascent to the top of the national polls at roughly 2 percent will be more difficult when he enters the debate in Alabama next month. The polling threshold for that fourth debate increases to 6%, a figure that could trip up Christie and the senator from South Carolina.
The smallest debate since 2016
Wednesday's Republican primary debate will be the smallest since it took place in February 2016, when five Republicans—Trump, surgeon Ben Carson, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, then-Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida—met for the final debate before Super Tuesday.
The nation's NBC affiliates will host the first debate of the primary campaign on national broadcast television on Wednesday. It's co-sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition, NBC News, Salem Radio Network, and streaming service Rumble. The start time is 8 p.m. Eastern Time.