Qualifications announced for ABC News’ New Hampshire Republican debate

(WASHINGTON) — ABC News on Wednesday announced how Republican presidential candidates will be able to qualify for the network’s upcoming New Hampshire primary debate in January.

To earn a spot on stage, candidates will either have to finish in the top three in the Iowa caucuses or receive at least 10% in two separate national polls of Republican primary voters or at least 10% in two separate New Hampshire polls of Republican primary voters that that meet ABC’s standards for reporting.

The same pollster can count more than once only if the polls are conducted in wholly separate field periods.

ABC and local station WMUR-TV announced earlier this month that they would be coordinating with the New Hampshire Republican State Committee for a 9 p.m. EST, Jan. 18, debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire.

The debate will be held just five days before the state’s Republican primary and three days after the Iowa caucuses, which are scheduled for Jan. 15. The results from those two states will give the first evidence of where voters are leaning in selecting the GOP’s 2024 nominee.

Former President Donald Trump is the clear front-runner in polling, despite his controversies and legal troubles. (He denies all wrongdoing.) He has also declined to participate in any debates, saying there’s no point because of his popularity, though rivals like Ron DeSantis have slammed his absence.

To determine eligibility for ABC’s debate, only polling data collected from surveys that began no earlier than Nov. 27 and are released no later than noon on Jan. 16 will be considered. Poll results reported with a decimal place will not be rounded up or down.

For debate qualification purposes, polls conducted by the following entities will be considered eligible: ABC News/Washington Post, ABC News/Ipsos, CBS News/YouGov, CNN, Emerson College/WHDH, Fox News, Fox Business News, Marist College, Marquette University Law School, Monmouth University, Monmouth University/The Washington Post, NBC News, The New York Times/Siena College, Quinnipiac University, University of New Hampshire/CNN, Saint Anselm College, Suffolk University/Boston Globe/USA TODAY and The Wall Street Journal.

Currently, Trump, Florida Gov. DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie would qualify for the New Hampshire primary debate.

Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson have not yet reached 10% in a qualifying national or New Hampshire poll, so they would each need either two national or two state surveys to reach the threshold.

Ramaswamy and Hutchinson could also place top three in Iowa in order to qualify.

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