Miami will host the third Republican Primary debate in early November, though the exact date, location and moderators have not been announced.
An appropriate setting is the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, which was selected for the October 2020 second presidential debate between former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden.
The locale is apt, considering the race’s two leading candidates — Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis — both call the Sunshine State home, though neither resides in the “Magic City.”
CNN first reported the Republican National Committee’s (RNC) selection of Miami as the third debate site Thursday.
The criteria for making the stage next month aren’t yet determined. Between the first and pending second debate, the minimum number of donors per candidate rose from 40,000 to 50,000, and each participant must have at least 3% support in two national, RNC-approved polls, up from 1% for the first debate last month.
The second debate will take place Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, where Miami Mayor Francis Suarez launched his bid for the presidency. Suarez suspended his campaign late last month after being denied entry to the first debate.
So far, seven candidates have qualified for the second debate: Trump, DeSantis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and U.S. Sen. Tim Scott.
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, both of whom secured a spot on the first debate stage, have not yet qualified.
Jason Miller, a campaign adviser to the former President, told NewsNation’s “The Hill” Wednesday that Trump’s significant lead in polling means he doesn’t need to engage with the rest of the GOP field.
“He’s in the driver’s seat,” Miller said of Trump. “Until some of these guys actually show that they belong even on the same stage as him, then I would say he doesn’t have to.”
As was the case with the first debate in Milwaukee on Aug. 23, participants will once again have to sign a pledge to support whoever wins the party’s 2024 nomination. Trump has notably refused to do so.
A Trump refusal tanked the Miami presidential debate in October 2020, when the former President rejected a plan to take part in the event virtually, with him and Biden appearing from remote locations. When the Commission on Presidential Debates selected the Arsht Center four months earlier, it called the theater “one of the world’s leading performing arts organizations and venues.”
The Arsht Center also hosted the first Democratic Primary debate of the 2020 cycle in June 2019.