COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The field of candidates on the stage for the fourth Republican presidential debate will be the smallest ever.
Four hopefuls will participate in this wednesday night debate at Moody Music Hall at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, according to the Republican National Committee.
To Qualify for the fourth debate, candidates were required to have at least 6% support in two national polls or 6% in one national poll as well as support in two polls in four early voting states – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina. All polls used for qualifying must be approved by the RNC.
White House candidates were also required to have at least 80,000 unique donors, at least 200 of whom came from 20 states or territories. He also had to sign an RNC pledge promising to support the party's eventual nominee.
A look at where the candidates stand:
DeSantis, initially seen as Donald Trump's top rival, has been locked in a battle for second place as the front-runner, while also grappling with challenges within his own operation.
in the weekends, Many employees separated With the super PAC that is sustaining DeSantis' early-state efforts. This is especially true in Iowa, where DeSantis relocated some of his Florida-based campaign staff and where he recently accomplished a goal of holding events in all 99 counties.
But the state is also ground zero for DeSantis' battle with Trump, as he said Both campaigned in Iowa over the weekend The Florida gubernatorial campaign was falling apart "like a very badly wounded bird".
There could be another opportunity for Haley to team up with DeSantis. Campaigns have been making sharp comments for weeks, such as Haley's recent comparison that her effort was a "dumpster fire" in contrast to theirs.
The political newcomer and youngest GOP candidate has been the target of attacks on the debate stage because of his lack of experience. While the jabs have helped Boost Ramaswamy's campaign treasury And despite his name ID in the broader Republican field, he has struggled to gain much popularity, even as he has filled his campaign calendar with a number of events, particularly throughout Iowa.
Ramaswamy has had a heated exchange with Haley, and there could be more on Wednesday night. During a previous debate, Haley called the entrepreneur "scum" after he mentioned Haley's daughter during a criticism of TikTok.
Christie, Trump's most vocal critic in the 2024 race, has presented herself as the only Republican willing to take him on head-on. Without Trump at the debate, Christie has been deprived of her intended goal, but she still made it to the top.
In September, Christie looked directly into the camera and declared that if Trump continued avoiding debates, he would deserve a new nickname: "Donald Duck."
Who decided not to participate (again)
Incumbent GOP candidates are skipping their fourth consecutive debate. Instead of going to Alabama or holding his own counterprogramming event, as he has done for past debates — Trump is Holding a closed door fundraising campaign in Florida.
Trump has said he is skipping the primary debates because he does not want to upstage his low-polling opponents by being on the stage with them. He and his campaign have also called on the RNC to cancel the remaining debates and instead focus on supporting him against President Joe Biden.
Who qualified for previous debates but not for this debate
The former two-term governor of Arkansas participated in the first debate but failed to qualify for the subsequent debates. After missing the second debate, he said his goal was to increase his polling numbers to 4% in the primary before Thanksgiving.
That did not happen, but Hutchinson has said that candidates should not be too quick to drop out, arguing that voters should have plenty of options when voting begins in Iowa.
who have dropped out since the last debate
Four days after barely qualifying for the third debate last month, Sen. tim scott South Carolina suddenly closed its bid, This is what the voters say "It's really become clear that they're telling me, 'Not yet, Tim.'"
On Monday, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum - who did not qualify for the third debate and was not on track for the fourth debate - suspended his campaignCondemning "the RNC's Clubhouse debate requirements," he argued that "the primary process is being nationalized."
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