We’re still going to have to stomach Vivek Ramaswamy’s slickly delivered anti-trans hate, Nikki Haley’s nauseating appeals to her bonafides and Mike Pence’s haircut during the next GOP primary debate in a month, but a couple of the candidates on stage last night may not qualify for the second Fox News ratings boost event of the season.
Trump will remain on stage only as an ominous, disembodied presence — he’s indicated the only person he will be debating this cycle is President Joe Biden — but North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson might be nixed if they don’t meet the Republican National Committee’s requirements for the second debate on Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.
For the second contest candidates must have at least 50,000 individual donors who have contributed to their campaigns and their polling must be above 3 percent either in two separate national polls or via one national poll and two early-voting state polls.
Burgum reached the donor requirement before Wednesday’s debate, but has not yet hit the polling qualifications. Hutchinson hasn’t yet met either requirement. Both also spent the least amount of time in the spotlight out of all of the candidates Wednesday night, but not making the audience’s ears ring like some on stage could prove to be an effective strategy.
The Best Of TPM Today
Here’s what you should read this evening:
Bonus episode of the Josh Marshall Podcast: The United States v. Ramaswamy
Yesterday’s Most Read Story
Big New Reveals In The Mar-a-Lago Case — David Kurtz