Dec 15, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Nikki Haley commits to participating in CNN's Iowa debate

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley takes questions from supporters after receiving the endorsement of New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu during a Town hall event at McIntyre Ski Area on December 12, 2023 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Nikki Haley takes during a town hall event at McIntyre Ski Area on Dec. 12 in Manchester, New Hampshire. Photo: Sophie Park/Getty Images

Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley on Friday committed to participating in the debate set to be hosted by CNN just days before the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 15.

Why it matters: Haley had previously not committed to participating, which now could become a one-on-one debate with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

Driving the news: "The first four debates have been great for our campaign and for voters, and we look forward to the fifth in Iowa," Haley said in a statement.

  • Haley also urged former President Trump, who has skipped the previous Republican primary debates, to participate.
  • "As the debate stage continues to shrink, it's getting harder for Donald Trump to hide," Haley said.

The big picture: CNN plans to host two GOP primary debates next year before the first two nominating contests.

  • The first debate is scheduled for Jan. 10 at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa before the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses.
  • To qualify for the Iowa debate, candidates must poll at 10% or higher in three national or Iowa polls, with at least one poll of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers.
  • The second debate is scheduled for Jan. 21 in New Hampshire, days before the state's Jan. 23 primary.

Go deeper: New Hampshire school "surprised" it's listed to host CNN debate

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