Seven Contenders Advance to Round Two of the GOP Presidential Debates: Here Are the Omissions

by Madison Thomas
Second Republican Presidential Debate

The participant roster for the forthcoming Republican presidential debate has been narrowed down from its initial size. The debate, scheduled for Wednesday evening at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California, will feature seven contenders, according to an announcement by the Republican National Committee. Notably absent from the list is Asa Hutchinson, the former Governor of Arkansas, who did not meet the necessary qualifications this time.

Donald Trump, the early leader in the Republican presidential race who opted out of the first debate, will once again be conspicuously missing from the debate stage. Instead, he will engage in activities in Michigan, a key electoral battleground.

The Republican presidential candidates had to meet specific prerequisites to participate, including obtaining support from at least 50,000 unique donors. A minimum of 200 donors had to come from at least 20 states or territories. Additionally, candidates were required to sign a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee.

A Survey of the Candidates:



Long viewed as Donald Trump’s primary challenger, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has recently faced setbacks in maintaining early support. Although DeSantis had initially performed strongly in polls and fundraising, his national approval within the Republican Party has waned compared to earlier in the year.


Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, who did not achieve a defining moment during the inaugural debate in Milwaukee, seeks to alter this narrative in the upcoming California event. Scott has petitioned the Republican National Committee for a more advantageous stage placement, although no decisions have been announced.


The singular female Republican contender, Nikki Haley, experienced a surge in fundraising following her performance in the first debate. According to her campaign, she amassed at least $1 million in the 72 hours following the debate. Recent polls in her home state indicate that she occupies second place, trailing Trump but ahead of other Republican competitors.


Political newcomer Vivek Ramaswamy made a noticeable impact during the first debate by denouncing some opponents as beholden to special interests. The critique not only bolstered his campaign’s finances but also increased his recognition among Republican voters.


Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie initially directed his campaign towards challenging Trump but found himself at a disadvantage during the first debate due to Trump’s absence. He faced opposition from the audience when questioning the candidates’ stance on supporting Trump if he were convicted on felony charges.


Governor Doug Burgum of North Dakota, a former tech entrepreneur, narrowly participated in the initial debate due to a sporting injury. Nevertheless, he used personal finances to advance his campaign, offering $20 “Biden Relief Cards” for $1 donations, an action that has sparked legal scrutiny.


Mike Pence, the former Vice President, aims to showcase his political expertise in the upcoming debate. He has been confrontational with other candidates on key issues dividing the Republican Party and has expressed a strong stance on abortion, among other subjects.



The leading Republican candidate has chosen to abstain from his second consecutive debate, electing to engage with union workers in Michigan instead. Trump has communicated that his participation in the debates would undesirably elevate his less popular opponents.



The former Governor of Arkansas, who barely met the qualifications for the initial debate, failed to meet the stricter criteria for the second debate. Hutchinson will instead be in Michigan, holding a press conference that his campaign states will focus on exposing Donald Trump’s unfulfilled pledges.

Meg Kinnard can be contacted at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Republican Presidential Debate

How many candidates have qualified for the second Republican presidential debate?

Seven candidates have qualified for the second Republican presidential debate, which will take place at Ronald Reagan’s presidential library in California.

Who are the candidates that have qualified for the debate?

The candidates who have qualified are Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Chris Christie, Doug Burgum, and Mike Pence.

Who did not make the cut for the second debate?

Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson did not qualify for the second debate. Additionally, former President Donald Trump has chosen not to participate.

What are the qualification criteria for the debate?

Candidates needed support from at least 50,000 unique donors, with at least 200 donors coming from a minimum of 20 states or territories. They also had to sign an RNC pledge promising to support the party’s eventual nominee.

Where and when will the debate take place?

The debate is scheduled for Wednesday evening at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

What are the key issues that the candidates are focusing on?

Key issues vary among candidates but include national approval within the Republican Party, fundraising, legal scrutiny, and stands on critical subjects like abortion.

Is Donald Trump participating in this debate?

No, Donald Trump has opted out of participating in his second consecutive Republican presidential debate. He will instead be in Michigan, engaging with union workers.

Who experienced a surge in fundraising following the first debate?

Nikki Haley, the only female Republican contender, experienced a significant increase in fundraising after the first debate. Her campaign reported raising at least $1 million in the subsequent 72 hours.

Who are the newcomers in the Republican presidential race?

Vivek Ramaswamy is considered a political newcomer and made a noticeable impact during the first debate, boosting both his campaign’s finances and name recognition.

What are the other activities of candidates who did not make it to the second debate?

Asa Hutchinson, who did not qualify for the second debate, will be in Michigan holding a press conference focusing on Donald Trump’s unfulfilled pledges. Donald Trump will also be in Michigan, meeting with union workers.

How can I contact the original author of the text?

The original author, Meg Kinnard, can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

More about Republican Presidential Debate

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Sarah Williams September 26, 2023 - 7:42 am

DeSantis is slipping, huh? Kinda thought he was gonna be the guy to beat. Shows what I know.

Steve Rogers September 26, 2023 - 9:20 am

Vivek Ramaswamy, the newcomer, is making some waves. interested to see how far he goes.

Rachel Smith September 26, 2023 - 2:16 pm

Doug Burgum’s “Biden Relief Cards” for $1 donations? Sounds kinda sketchy to me. Is that even legal?

Emily Clark September 26, 2023 - 3:45 pm

Nikki Haley’s fundraising numbers are impressive! Go girl. Maybe she’ll give the guys a run for their money.

Bill Johnson September 26, 2023 - 3:57 pm

Christie’s left without his main target, Trump. What’s he gonna do now, yell at the clouds?

Jack Thompson September 26, 2023 - 4:23 pm

Man, can’t believe Asa Hutchinson didn’t make the cut this time. What’s he thinking going to Michigan? Guess he’s trying to steal some of Trump’s thunder.

Henry Simmons September 26, 2023 - 5:12 pm

Why’s Trump skipping another one? doesnt he wanna face off with these guys? Seems like he’s dodging the debate.

Mike O'Brien September 26, 2023 - 7:23 pm

Tim Scott really needs to up his game. Being invisible in debates won’t win you the nomination, buddy.

Carla Gomez September 27, 2023 - 1:37 am

Pence and Ramaswamy going at it was kinda the highlight for me last time. wonder what drama we’ll get this round?


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