MIAMI — Miami will host the third Republican presidential primary debate in early November.
The move was first reported by CNN. A spokesperson for the Republican National Committee confirmed the decision to the Miami Herald.
The debate will follow the second such forum, which is set to take place on Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The first debate was held last month in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
The decision to hold the third debate in Miami is notable, given that the two leading candidates for the GOP presidential nod — former President Donald Trump and Gov. Ron DeSantis — are Floridians.
Florida, a longtime swing state, has also lurched to the right in recent years and Republicans have held it up as a success story for the party; after barely eking out a win in his 2018 gubernatorial campaign, DeSantis won reelection last year by a nearly 20-point margin.
It’s unclear how — or if — the criteria to qualify for the third debate will change. The Republican National Committee upped the qualifications between the first and second debate, requiring candidates to notch a minimum of 50,000 donors instead of 40,000 donors.
Candidates will also have to score at least 3% in two Republican National Committee-approved national polls or one national and two early-state polls to qualify for the second debate. To make the debate stage the first time, candidates needed to hit only 1% in three national polls or two national and two early-state polls.
Trump, who’s leading the rest of the Republican primary field by double-digit margins in virtually every public poll, notably skipped the first debate last month and signaled that he’s not likely to participate in the others, arguing that his polling lead renders the forums largely irrelevant.
“The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had,” Trump wrote on his social network Truth Social last month. “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”
Trump has also butted heads with the Republican National Committee over a requirement that candidates sign a so-called “loyalty pledge” to support the eventual Republican presidential nominee in order to participate in the first debate. That pledge is also required for the second debate.