Washington, Sep 26 (IANS) The Republican National Committee (RNC) has announced that seven candidates, excluding former US President Donald Trump, are set to clash in the second presidential debate on Wednesday night.The debate, at 9 p.m. on Wednesday is taking place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, and will be hosted by the Fox Business Network and Univision, CNN quoted the RNC as saying in a statement late Monday night.
The participants are Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, Indian-origin entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum.
Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who appeared in the first Republican presidential primary debate on August 23, did not meet the RNC’s heightened polling and fundraising standards for Wednesday’s debate.
Trump, the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination, will be a no-show after he skipped the first debate as well.
On Monday, the former President called the Republican primary debates “stupid” and suggested that he couldbypass them all.
“Basically, it’s a job interview. You look at the debates, it’s a job interview, and so far, I’m not too interested,” CNN quoted Trump as saying at a campaign field office in Summerville, South Carolina.
New polls released over the weekend from NBC News and The Washington Post/ABC News found Trump with a clear nationwide lead in the Republican primary.
NBC showed the former president with 59 per cent support, ahead of DeSantis at 16 per cent, Haley at 7 per cent, Pence and Christie at 4 per cent each, Scott at 3 per cent and Ramaswamy at 2 per cent.
The Post/ABC poll put Trump’s support at 54 per cent support to DeSantis’ 15 per cent, with Haley receiving 7 per cent, Pence 6 per cent, Scott 4 per cent, and Christie and Ramaswamy at 3 per cent each.
To qualify for the second debate, Republican candidates had to register at least 3 per cent in two national polls or one national poll and two polls from separate early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina or Nevada.
Those polls had to be released at least 48 hours prior to the debate and meet the RNC’s standards.
Candidates were also required to have a minimum of 50,000 unique donors, with at least 200 donors in 20 states or territories.
Debate participants will also need to sign a pledge committing to supporting the eventual Republican nominee.
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