2024 Republican candidates to meet in California for second debate

2024 Republican candidates to meet in California for second debate

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Seven candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president in 2024 will share the stage Wednesday night at the Reagan Presidential Library in California for the second primary debate

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy met the Republican National Committee’s polling and fundraising threshold to qualify for the stage.

Former President Donald Trump, who remains the Republican frontrunner, is skipping the debate and instead will speak in Detroit, where Big Three union auto workers are on strike. A CBS News poll released Tuesday found Trump leads the Republican primary field comfortably in both Iowa and New Hampshire. His current margins would translate to winning half of Iowa’s delegates and the lion’s share in New Hampshire.

The eight candidates who participated in the first debate were asked if they would support Trump even if he is convicted of a crime. All but Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (who will not be at the second debate) raised their hands in support

The debate will air on Fox Business Channel and Univision from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m., and can be streamed on Rumble. 

What were the requirements to participate in the second debate?

The threshold for the second debate was higher than for the first. Candidates had to poll at 3% in two national polls or 3% in one national poll and 3% in one early state poll from two separate early-voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, South Carolina. For the first debate, the polling requirement was 1% in the same poll categories in surveys conducted on or after Aug. 1.

Candidates also needed to have a minimum of 50,000 unique donors to their principal presidential campaign committee or exploratory committee, with at least 200 unique donors per state or territory in more than 20 states and/or territories. That’s an increase of 10,000 unique donors over the 40,000 required to make it onstage for the first primary debate.

Who’s moderating the debate?

Stuart Varney and Dana Perino, of Fox News, will moderate the debate, with Univision’s Ilia Calderón.

A week before the second debate, primary opponent Nikki Haley criticized Trump for sitting out the debate. “You can’t just not be on a debate stage because you’re so high in the polls,” she said at an event in New Hampshire Thursday. “You’ve got to show not what you did in the last four years [but], what are you going to do in the next four, how are you going to fix what was broken?”

Trump has also not signed the RNC’s “loyalty pledge” to support the candidate who wins the Republican nomination. 

Cristina Corujo contributed to this report.

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