With a streamlined lineup, the Republican National Committee confirmed Monday that only five Republican contenders will take the stage in Miami for the third GOP presidential debate.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina all qualified for the Wednesday debate, the Republican National Committee said in a statement.
Notably absent are former Vice President Mike Pence,, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who participated in the two previous debates but failed to meet the updated polling criteria. Continuing his pattern, former President Donald Trump has opted to skip the debate stage.
Instead,, Florida, just a 30-minute drive from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, where his competitors will be gathering. Trump's campaign has said that he sees no value in participating in the debate, citing his substantial polling lead.
A recent CBS News poll found Trump polling at around 61%, more than three times his closest competitor, DeSantis.
"We are looking forward to our third debate in Miami, a welcome opportunity for our candidates to showcase our winning conservative agenda to the American people. We are especially honored to be the first political party to partner with a Jewish organization for a debate in our partnership with the Republican Jewish Coalition, and our candidates will reaffirm the Republican Party's unwavering support of Israel and the Jewish community on the stage Wednesday night." RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said.
The third debate is scheduled for Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET. Lester Holt, Kristen Welker and Hugh Hewitt from NBC News will serve as moderators, guiding the 2024 GOP candidates in their fight to gain an advantage in the polls.
To qualify for the debate, candidates needed to secure a polling minimum of 4%. This could be achieved through either two national surveys or one national survey combined with two surveys from the early-nominating states. Candidates also needed to garner contributions from a minimum of 70,000 individuals before the 8 p.m. deadline on Monday.
The Republican hopefuls will face an even steeper climb for the fourth debate, as the RNC has raised the stakes, asking for the candidates to have amassed a minimum of 80,000 individual donors and attained a minimum 6% standing in two national polls, or in one national poll and in one poll in one of the four early states.
The fourth debate is scheduled to take place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on Dec. 6, according to the RNC.
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