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Who qualified for the third Republican primary debate – and who didn’t

North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum has failed to qualify for the debate in Miami on Wednesday night

Rachel Sharp
Tuesday 07 November 2023 12:21 GMT
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Trump under fire from rivals in US Republican debate

The Republican National Committee has announced who did – and didn’t – make the cut for the third GOP presidential primary debate.

On Monday, the committee confirmed that five candidates had passed the threshold to qualify for Wednesday night’s event set to take place in Miami.

The five presidential candidates are: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former South Carolina Governor and UN ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott.

Doug Burgum, the current governor of North Dakota, failed to qualify.

Mr Burgum did qualify and participate in the first two debates but, this time around, appears to have failed to reach the donor requirement.

Despite the disappointing setback to his White House ambitions, he does not appear to be planning to pull out of the race.

Instead, he took to X to claim that he is simply “skipping the next debate”.

“Skipping the next debate isn’t going to stop us. I’ve been told ‘it’s impossible’ my entire life and always beat the odds,” he wrote.

“They told me I couldn’t build a tech company in North Dakota. We built a billion-dollar one.

“They told me I wouldn’t be governor. We won by 40 points. Now, DC insiders are trying to stop me from fighting for you! It’s not gonna work. Party bosses don’t pick presidents – voters do!”

The criteria for the third debate included reaching 70,000 unique donors, earning at least 4 per cent in polling (either in two national surveys or in one national survey and two early-nominating state surveys) by 8pm ET on Monday.

Candidates were also required to pledge to support whoever ends up as the eventual Republican party nominee.

Beyond Mr Burgum, Mr Trump is also skipping Wednesday night’s event.

Candidates on stage at the second Republican presidential primary debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on September 27, 2023 (AFP via Getty Images)

He has refused to attend any of the GOP debates so far – choosing instead to hold rival campaign rallies or appear for fawning interviews with right-wing figures.

This time around he is holding a campaign rally in Hialeah to clash with the event.

Former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson will also be missing from the debate – after he failed to pass the threshold for the second debate.

Meanwhile, former vice president Mike Pence dropped out of the race last month after taking part in the first two debates.

The debate is scheduled for 8pm ET on Wednesday in Miami.

It will be livestreamed on NBC News and Rumble.

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