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Fifth Republican Presidential Debate...

Fifth Republican Presidential Debate Down to Two

By: Frank Corder - January 3, 2024

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speak during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by NBC News, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County in Miami. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell)

With the Iowa Caucus nearing, DeSantis and Haley will appear together on stage for CNN-hosted debate as Trump continues to skip out. The former President will instead attend a town hall hosted by FoxNews.

Only three candidates seeking the Republican nomination for President have qualified for the fifth debate of the cycle ahead of the start of primary voting. Yet, only two will be on the stage together.

Former President Donald Trump, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, and former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley met the requirements to appear at the January 10th debate hosted by CNN.

DeSantis and Haley will go head-to-head at Drake University’s Sheslow Auditorium in Des Moines. The debate is set to begin at 8 p.m. and moderated by CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

Trump will not be participating in the debate, continuing to bypass the events just as he has for the previous four. Instead, Trump will appear at a town hall being aired by FoxNews at the same time. It will be hosted by Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum.

Notably absent from the fifth debate are businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Both failed to reach the necessary thresholds to be included.

Ramaswamy announced that he would be holding a “live-audience show,” also in Des Moines, with TimCast IRL.

To qualify for the fifth debate, candidates must be polling at least at 10% in three separate national polls and/or Iowa polls of Republican caucus voters. One of the three polls was to have been comprised of likely Iowa Republican caucus voters approved by CNN.

The Iowa caucuses are set for January 15th. It will be the first test for the Republican Presidential field at the ballot box.

According to the latest national polling averages compiled by FiveThirtyEight on January 2nd, Trump leads the field with over 61% while DeSantis and Haley are tied at 11.3%. Ramaswamy and Christie are polling at 4% or below.

FiveThirtyEight’s Iowa polling shows Trump with 50%, DeSantis at 18.4%, and Haley at 15.7%.

About the Author(s)
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Frank Corder

Frank Corder is a native of Pascagoula. For nearly two decades, he has reported and offered analysis on government, public policy, business and matters of faith. Frank’s interviews, articles, and columns have been shared throughout Mississippi as well as in national publications. He is a frequent guest on radio and television, providing insight and commentary on the inner workings of the Magnolia State. Frank has served his community in both elected and appointed public office, hosted his own local radio and television programs, and managed private businesses all while being an engaged husband and father. Email Frank: