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Who has qualified for the fourth GOP debate?

On Wednesday, 4 Republican candidates will take to the debate stage. Who made the cut for this fourth round?

On Wednesday, 4 Republican candidates will take to the debate stage. Who made the cut for this fourth round?

On Wednesday, 6 December, live from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, four Republican presidential candidates will take to the debate stage to try and make their case to their party’s voters. Once again, Donald Trump, the candidate leading the race by double digits, will not appear, and his absence is likely to be attacked by those who do show up. Since the last debate, former Senator Tim Scott has dropped out of the race after failing to attract supporters to his campaign.

What a candidate needs to qualify for the debate

With each debate, the standard to qualify increases.

For this fourth and final debate of the year, a candidate must:

  • Polling: At least six percent support in a two national polls, OR six percent in one early state (Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina).
  • Donations: 80,000 unique donors, with a minimum of 200 bring from at least twenty states or territories. 
  • Candidate pledge: The candidate must sign a pledge that they will support the Republican nominee that wins the primary 

So far, the four candidates that have met all three requirements are Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former South Carolina Governor and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, and businessman Vivek Ramaswamy.

A look at the polls

Former President Donald Trump has been uninterested in participating in the debates, and even if he wanted to, he cannot because he has not signed the candidate pledge. His failure to appear has not deterred Republican primary voters, who, when polled, make their support for Trump clear.

Donald Trump has more support than the other candidates combined, with the Five-Thirty-Eight average showing him at around 59.2 percent support in the polls they track. The next closest rival is Governor DeSantis, who has around 13 percent support. Many of the candidates that will be on the stage tomorrow have criticized Trump for his unwillingness to appear, arguing that he should have to defend his record to the voters.

Trump, on the other hand, sees his widespread support from GOP voters as reason enough to skip the events altogether. As a political strategy, this has worked well for the former president, as reflected by the high support he continues to share from voters.