The third Republican presidential debate will take place Nov. 8 in Miami, a day after several states held off-year elections, and candidates will have to meet the strictest requirements yet to take part.
Participating candidates must secure 4% of the vote in multiple polls and 70,000 individual donors to secure a spot on the stage, the Republican National Committee said Friday. Party officials did not immediately respond to inquiries about who would moderate the debate.
Details of the gathering come as the broader GOP camp prepares for a second primary debate without its current front-runner. Former President Donald Trump, who also skipped the first debate last month, plans to meet with current and former union members in Michigan instead of attending the Sept. 27 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California .
The requirements for the third debate will be more difficult to meet than the second. For the second debate, candidates need at least 3% in two national polls, or 3% in one national poll, as well as two polls in four of the states where early voting took place – Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, according to the RNC. Candidates for the White House must also have at least 50,000 individual donors.
The GOP has not yet confirmed the qualified participants for Wednesday’s debate, but several campaigns have said they have met expectations, including former Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, the former governor of New Jersey. Chris Christie, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Vice President Mike Pence.
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson attended the first debate, but their participation in the second is uncertain.
Candidates are arranged on stage according to their order in polls that meet standards set by the RNC, with higher-performing candidates closer to the center.
Scott, who was second from stage right at the first GOP debate last month, has suggested the RNC change the order of candidates for next week’s debate. In a letter to Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Scott’s campaign argued that “Iowa poll results should be the primary criterion for podium placement in the September debate, as the Iowa caucuses are the prelude to next year’s Republican vote.”
“The debate committee has approached the entire process very thoughtfully and we continue to welcome input from all candidates, partners and stakeholders,” RNC officials said of Scott’s proposal. “We look forward to hosting another fair and transparent debate stage in Simi Valley.”