Dec 4, 2023 - Politics & Policy

DeSantis, Ramaswamy, Haley, Christie qualify for fourth GOP debate, RNC says

Republican presidential candidates (L-R) former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy participate in the NBC News Republican Presidential Primary Debate in Miami, Florida, last month. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Four Republican presidential hopefuls will take the stage on Wednesday night for the fourth GOP primary debate, the Republican National Committee announced Monday.

Why it matters: It will be the smallest debate stage yet — down from the five candidates who qualified for the third debate — and comes just over a month out from the Iowa caucuses.

Driving the news: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie all qualified for the debate in Tuscaloosa, Ala., the RNC said.

  • Christie last month said that he had reached the donor requirement to qualify, but he had not yet appeared to hit the polling requirement. He said last week that he was "confident" that he'll be on the stage.
  • South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott appeared on stage in Miami last month for the third debate, but he suspended his presidential campaign days after the debate.

Zoom in: To qualify, candidates needed 6% support in two RNC-approved national polls, or 6% in one national poll and one statewide poll in an early primary state, per AP.

  • Candidates also needed to have 80,000 unique donors, with at least 200 donors from each of 20 or more states and territories.

Between the lines: Former President Trump, who skipped the previous three debates, plans to attend a private fundraiser in Florida on Wednesday night.

  • Trump is also expected to sit for a town hall with Fox News' Sean Hannity on Tuesday night.
  • Trump has called on the RNC to cancel all remaining debates, saying that the committee should instead "refocus its manpower" on beating President Biden.

How to watch: The debate, hosted by NewsNation, will have three moderators, including former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, NewNation's Elizabeth Vargas and The Washington Free Beacon's Eliana Johnson.

  • It is set to air from 8-10 p.m. ET and will also be livestreamed on Rumble.

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