The Republican National Committee announced on Monday 6 November 2023 that five presidential candidates had successfully met the criteria for participating in the upcoming third primary debate in Miami. The event will see candidates Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, and Chris Christie all take the stage and hopefully make complete idiots of themselves. Sadly, we won’t get to see a classic Donald Trump debate temper tantrum, as the former president has decided to skip the event to host his own campaign ego boost.
Some candidates naturally didn’t make the cut. Candidates need to meet certain polling and donor quotas to grace the stage, and it’s not as easy for some as it is for others. For example, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum fell short of winning a spot, while former Vice President Mike Pence decided to drop out of the race altogether.
Ronna McDaniel, Chairwoman of the Republican National Convention (RNC), stated: “We are looking forward to our third debate in Miami, a welcome opportunity for our candidates to showcase our winning conservative agenda to the American people.”We can’t help but wonder what a “winning conservative agenda” looks like these days. But hey, it’s all about showmanship, isn’t it?
As previously mentioned, Trump is hosting a rally in nearby Hialeah, Florida. He believes his already winning the race and debating with his lower-tier rivals is just not worth his time. Who needs debates when you’re leading in the polls, right?
There’s been quite the rivalry between DeSantis and Trump for some time now, particularly in the past few weeks. While Trump has been sitting in court, the Florida Governor has been making moves to try and delegitimise the former president. So, when it was announced that Trump wasn’t going to be attending the third debate, the politician naturally decided to poke fun at Trump and publically ponder whether or not the businessman had “the balls” to show up.
With both politicians having strong ties to the Sunshine State, this week will serve as a battleground to determine who wields more influence and holds the upper hand and who might potentially secure a victory in the primary.
Paul Renner, Speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and public endorser of DeSantis for president, expressed to ABC News his belief that while Trump had a successful four-year term, the 2024 election should focus on new leadership and the future.
And let’s not forget Chris Christie. Trump may believe he can avoid debates, but Christie, former New Jersey governor and a man with a reputation for, well, finding things (or people), has a warning for the former president. The politician told reporters: “ You think I’m going to have a hard time finding Donald Trump? Do you think over the next few months, I won’t stumble upon him sipping his Diet Coke or hunting for golf balls? I was a prosecutor for seven years, after all. Finding people is my specialty. So, don’t worry about it. I’ll find him.”
As for Haley, the Republican underdog has been enjoying an uptick in the polls recently, making her a prime target for her rivals. On contentious topics such as abortion rights, Haley has taken a seemingly pragmatic approach, advocating for a nationwide “consensus.” That being said, the Christian right will very likely not take well to her moderate stance, so her soft policy rhetoric might need to change pretty soon.
Scott’s team even penned a memo calling Haley a “moderate” while DeSantis labelled her a “failing candidate.” Yep, the political gloves are off.
With two months to go until the first GOP contest in January 2024, which refers to the competition within the Republican Party to select their presidential candidate. This usually involves a series of primary elections and caucuses in various states, where voters choose their preferred Republican candidate. The candidate who accumulates the most delegates through these contests becomes the party’s nominee for the presidential election.
And yes, you can bet the candidates will be scrapping to gain as much traction as possible. It’s a fierce battle to claim the Republican throne or at least the nomination.
So, as we gear up for this political reality show, you can rest assured it’s going to be quite the spectacle. As for the future, the fourth debate is just around the corner, set to take place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, on 6 December. And guess what? The prerequisites for candidates are even more stringent this time. It’s like a political obstacle course, and only the strongest will survive.
To make the cut, candidates will need to lock down 6 per cent support in either two national polls or in one national poll and two different early state contests. Mark your calendars, because this political circus is far from over. It’s the race for the White House and it’s one heck of a show.