On Wednesday, four Republican presidential contenders will take part in the fourth primary debate hosted on the University of Alabama campus. The debate will feature Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former U.N. ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, businessperson Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. All four candidates met the criteria set by the Republican National Committee (RNC) to qualify for the debate, which will be held inside the Frank Moody Music Hall from 7-9 p.m. and broadcast on NewsNation.
Moderating the debate will be NewsNation anchor Elizabeth Vargas, media personality Megyn Kelly, and Eliana Johnson, editor-in-chief of the conservative Washington Free Beacon.
RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel expressed enthusiasm, stating, “The fourth debate is another fantastic opportunity for our Republican candidates to share our winning agenda with the American people.” McDaniel drew a historical connection, noting that President Reagan visited the University of Alabama nearly 40 years ago before winning a landslide victory in 1984.
While former President Trump, who currently leads in primary polling, will not be in Alabama, the debate includes Christie, who reportedly made it into the event at the last minute by meeting polling thresholds ahead of the deadline. The RNC’s criteria dictate that candidates must achieve at least 6% in qualifying polls, and while Christie’s inclusion was uncertain, his campaign stated that he easily met the RNC’s donor requirements.
According to RealClear Politics, the average of national polls places Christie at 2.5%, below the 6% threshold, and Ramaswamy also falls below 6%. FiveThirtyEight.com reports Christie at 2.8% and Ramaswamy at 5.3%.