The Republican National Committee (RNC) made it official on Monday, announcing its partners and venue for their third GOP presidential nomination debate, which will be held in Miami on Nov. 8.
The RNC said it selected NBC News, Salem Radio Network, the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), and Rumble as partners for the debate, which will take place at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.
RNC chair Ronna McDaniel emphasized that the showdown “will offer our candidates an excellent opportunity to meet the moment and contrast their plans and vision with the failures of the Biden White House.”
And RJC chair and former Sen. Norm Coleman noted that “as the horrific events of the last week have unfolded in Israel, the issue of American foreign policy has taken on an even greater role. American strength and American resolve – and our candidates’ vision for America’s role in the world – are more important than ever.”
The big question going forward is which candidates will be on the stage at next month’s debate.
Former President Donald Trump, who remains the commanding polling and fundraising frontrunner for the 2024 Republican nomination as he makes his third straight White House run, pointed to his large lead over his rivals as he skipped the first two debates. And late last month, Trump campaign adviser Chris LaCavita said Trump wouldn’t take the stage at the third debate.
Trump’s campaign has called for all future debates to be canceled, and that the RNC should “refocus its manpower and money” on defeating Democrats in next year’s election.
As first reported last month by Fox News, the RNC raised the polling and donor thresholds that 2024 primary candidates must reach to make the stage at the third debate.
To participate, each candidate must have a minimum of 70,000 unique donors to their campaign or exploratory committee, including 200 donors in 20 or more states.
The White House hopefuls must also reach 4% support in two national polls, or reach 4% in one national poll and 4% in two statewide polls conducted in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada or South Carolina – the four states that lead off the Republican presidential nominating calendar.
Additionally, candidates are also required to sign a pledge agreeing to support the eventual Republican presidential nominee. They must agree not to participate in any non-RNC sanctioned debates for the rest of the 2024 election cycle and agree to data-sharing with the national party committee.
The thresholds have been rising for each ensuing debate. To make the first showdown, a Fox News-hosted event in Milwaukee on Aug. 23, the candidates needed to hit 1% in polling and have 40,000 donors. Eight candidates ended up facing off in Milwaukee.
The criteria were raised to 3% in the polls and 50,000 donors for the second debate, a FOX Business-hosted showdown that took place on Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California. Seven candidates traded fireworks at the second debate.
Multimillionaire biotech entrepreneur and first-time candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said he’s reached the criteria for the third debate but may join Trump in opting out. His campaign has been having internal discussions regarding whether he should participate in the Miami showdown.
“We’re taking a look at what’s going to best foster debate in party. I think the second debate was totally useless. I do not think it served the voters well. And so I’m looking at how are we going to be able to best inform voters and communicate with voters,” Ramaswamy told Fox News’ Deirdre Heavey earlier this month on the campaign trail in Keene, New Hampshire.
Ramaswamy was joined on stage at the second debate by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, former Vice President Mike Pence, and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who qualified for the first debate, fell short and failed to make the stage at the second showdown.
The third debate will be held with just over two months to go until the Jan. 15 Iowa caucuses, which is the lead off contest in the 2024 GOP presidential nominating calendar.