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7 Candidates Qualify for Second Republican Debate; Trump Won’t Attend

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7 Candidates Qualify for Second Republican Debate; Trump Won’t Attend

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Seven candidates qualified for the second Republican presidential debate, the Republican National Committee announced Monday night, just one fewer than participated in the first debate last month.

The event, scheduled for Wednesday from 9 to 11 p.m. Eastern time, will include:

  • Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota

  • Former Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey

  • Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida

  • Nikki Haley, the former governor of South Carolina and former United Nations ambassador

  • Former Vice President Mike Pence

  • The entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy

  • Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina

While former President Donald J. Trump, the runaway front-runner in polls, easily exceeded the donor and polling requirements for participation, he is planning to skip the debate. He also skipped the first debate, which still managed to draw nearly 13 million viewers and was also the most-watched cable telecast of the year outside of sports.

For his rivals, time is running short to gain ground on the leader. Mr. Trump’s closest rival, Mr. DeSantis, has fallen in recent polling, and the other candidates have been unable to make substantial breakthroughs. They will need to seize on moments like debates, with national audiences, to make noise in early contests in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Former Gov. Asa Hutchinson of Arkansas, who qualified for the first debate, failed to meet the tougher requirements for the second. He needed 50,000 donors (up from 40,000 last month) and 3 percent (up from 1 percent) in at least two national polls accepted by the R.N.C., or in one national poll plus two polls from early-voting states.

It is unclear whether he missed both requirements or just one. He did not meet the new polling threshold, according to a New York Times analysis, but his campaign did not respond to requests to confirm whether he had met the donor threshold.

No one who missed the first debate qualified for the second. Most of the lesser-known candidates — including former Representative Will Hurd of Texas, the talk-show host Larry Elder, the businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley and the businessman Perry Johnson — reported having met the increased donor requirement, but 3 percent in multiple polls was a bridge too far.

Like last month, when Mr. Trump recorded an interview with the former Fox News host Tucker Carlson to be released while his rivals were on the debate stage, Mr. Trump has his own counterprogramming plan. He will be in Detroit to give a prime-time speech to current and former union workers as members of the United Automobile Workers near the two-week mark on their strike.

Mr. Trump has also refused to sign a pledge to support the Republican nominee regardless of who it is, which is a requirement for debate participation.

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