Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has qualified for the third Republican presidential debate alongside other candidates such as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Chris Christie, and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. As of November 2, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, and Texas pastor and business owner Ryan Binkley are still on the outside looking in and have yet to secure a podium on the debate stage. Mike Pence has withdrawn from the race, saying it wasn’t his time.
Former President Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the GOP nomination, will not participate in the debates. Instead, he plans to hold a campaign rally in Hialeah, Florida. Chris LaCivita, senior adviser to the Trump campaign, has urged the Republican National Committee (RNC) to cancel the debates and focus on defeating President Joe Biden in 2024.
Despite Trump’s commanding lead in polls, the five GOP hopefuls participating in the November 8 debate believe the race is still open. Contenders like DeSantis and Haley are vying for the second-place position behind Trump.
The RNC has set higher thresholds for candidates to qualify for the third debate. Candidates must meet a polling requirement of 4 percent support in at least two national polls or 4 percent in one national poll and two state polls. They must also have at least 70,000 unique donors, including 200 donors each from at least 20 states. Five candidates have so far met these criteria, including Tim Scott.
The scheduled debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami is on November 8 from 8 to 10 p.m. Lester Holt and Kristen Welker of NBC News, and conservative talk show host Hugh Hewitt will serve as moderators.
The RNC has not yet announced plans for a fourth debate. With the holiday season approaching, it is unlikely that any more debates will be scheduled until early January before the Iowa caucuses kick off the 2024 election cycle.
Overall, Donald Trump remains the frontrunner. The third debate provides an opportunity for candidates like DeSantis and Haley to gain momentum and establish themselves as the primary alternative to Trump. The race is not yet over, and these candidates are determined to make their mark.