Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida (R-FL), entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Senator Tim Scott from South Carolina (R-SC), former Vice President Mike Pence, former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, and Governor Doug Burgum from North Dakota (R-ND) are confirmed participants in the upcoming GOP debate, which will take place at Milwaukee’s Fiserv Forum.
To be eligible for the debate scheduled for Wednesday, candidates were required to meet specific criteria set by the Republican National Committee. This included demonstrating at least 1% support in three reputable national polls or a combination of national and early voting state polls conducted between July 1 and August 21.
Additionally, candidates needed financial backing from a minimum of 40,000 donors, with at least 200 of those contributions originating from 20 different states.
Former President Donald Trump, who holds a significant lead in polling and fulfilled all debate requirements, chose not to participate in the debate. According to an Associated Press report, Trump stated that it didn’t make sense for him to expose himself to the expected barrage of attacks, given his substantial lead in the polls.
In a post on his Truth Social account, Trump questioned the need for a debate, asserting, “People know my record, one of the best ever, so why would I debate? I’m your man. Make America Great Again!”
Governor DeSantis’ campaign faced challenges in meeting the high initial expectations.
The campaign downsized its staff by over a third, as evidenced by federal filings that revealed an extensive expenditure pattern, reminiscent of a Kardashian’s lavish spending spree during a sale at Macy’s.