GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy is considering opting out of the third primary debate.
The move would make him the second Republican candidate to do so after former President Donald Trump.
Told you he won’t make it to IA. He skips the debate, his campaign is over https://t.co/4IK6aZfW0b
— ✝️Caramel_Crusader✝️ (@FutureHOF3) October 19, 2023
Ramaswamy stated, "My view is what best advances substantive debate for the future of the Republican Party and for the future of our country, and so we’re weighing what best accomplishes that."
"I’m going to be looking at what best does, and we’ll evaluate whether participating in that third debate really is something that moves the ball," he added.
RNC's new debate criteria: Here’s who isn’t on stage (yet) Mike Pence doesn't have enough donors yet. https://t.co/agGqndT3Vx
— XenaBb7 (@XenaBb7) September 23, 2023
"According to POLITICO’s analysis, four candidates have already qualified for the third debate: former President Donald Trump, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessperson Vivek Ramaswamy, and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley," Politico reported.
"All four of those candidates immediately hit the polling threshold — a modest increase from 3 percent in the same number of polls for the second debate — and their campaigns confirmed to POLITICO on Friday that they have at least 70,000 donors, or public fundraising records have previously indicated they have over that amount," it continued.
Former Vice President Mike Pence has yet to qualify for the third debate, but his campaign has expressed confidence that he is on track to reach the donor number needed to participate.
The current situation would leave DeSantis and Haley left to debate if Ramaswamy opts out.
If he does participate, the smaller number of candidates would give him more time to talk with Americans, though Ramaswamy's last debate performance fell far lower than his first effort, according to many viewers.
The thought of leaving the debate also reveals that the format's importance has changed compared with the past, with more voters directly following or connecting with candidates through other methods.