Only five Republican presidential candidates will take the debate stage in Miami on Wednesday night, and former president Donald Trump will once again skip the showdown. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum did not make the stage after he failed to meet the polling and fundraising criteria set by the Republican National Committee, having previously qualified for the first two debates. Former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson also did not qualify, having made only the first debate.
The RNC has raised the threshold to qualify for each debate. To participate in Miami, candidates had to show at least 4 percent support in two national polls or in one national poll and two statewide polls from early nominating states. They also had to prove they have at least 70,000 unique donors, including at least 200 each in 20 or more states.
On Monday evening, the RNC announced the five candidates who met the standard: former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina.
Trump — the polling front-runner for the nomination — will once again skip the event in favor of a campaign rally in Hialeah, Fla. He also skipped the last two debates, instead participating in an interview with Tucker Carlson and appearing at a nonunion venue in Michigan during the United Auto Workers strike.
Former vice president Mike Pence suspended his campaign since the last debate in Simi Valley, Calif., in September.
Shortly after the debate lineup was announced, Burgum shared a video on the social media platform X, saying: “D.C. insiders want to stop a small-town guy like me from fighting for you, not going to work,” and “pundits, party bosses, national polls, they don’t pick presidents, you pick the president.”
“Skipping the debate isn’t going to stop us,” he wrote in a post accompanying the video.