Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who is also a 2024 Republican presidential candidate, did not qualify for the second GOP presidential debate, while the other seven candidates who participated in the first debate in August will be present. The candidates who qualified for the second debate include North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and Senator Tim Scott. To qualify, candidates had to meet the party’s criteria, including a unique donor threshold, a minimum polling requirement, and signing pledges to support the party’s eventual nominee. Former President Donald Trump, although surpassing the first two requirements, has declined to sign the pledges. Hutchinson’s failure to qualify makes him the only candidate from the first debate who did not make it this time.
The main issue hindering Hutchinson and Burgum’s qualification was the polling threshold, where they struggled to consistently reach 3% in national or state-level polls. Missing out on the debate and the resulting publicity has had consequences before, as Miami Mayor Francis Suarez dropped out of the presidential race after failing to qualify for the first debate. Hutchinson, who has struggled with fundraising, expressed that missing the debate would require him to reflect on his campaign. However, he later confirmed that he will continue his campaign and aims to increase his polling numbers to 4% in an early state before Thanksgiving. Hutchinson’s motivation for running is to stand up against Donald Trump and hold him accountable for misleading his supporters and the American people.
In conclusion, Asa Hutchinson did not qualify for the second GOP presidential debate, while seven other candidates who participated in the first debate met the party’s criteria and will be present. Hutchinson’s failure to qualify was primarily due to the polling threshold, which he and Burgum struggled to meet consistently. Missing out on the debate has had repercussions for candidates in the past, but Hutchinson remains determined to continue his campaign and aims to increase his polling numbers to 4% in an early state. He believes it is crucial to challenge Donald Trump’s misleading statements and aims to hold him accountable.