DeSantis Agrees to Participate in Third January Debate

Just days after Florida’s legislative session begins, Governor Ron DeSantis has committed to three debates in less than two weeks, according to the governor’s campaign on Dec. 29. DeSantis is set to join CNN’s New Hampshire primary debate on Jan. 21, following his commitment to appearing in CNN’s Iowa debate on Jan. 10 and ABC’s New Hampshire debate on Jan. 18.

Andrew Romeo, the DeSantis campaign spokesman, highlighted the importance of multiple debates on various networks to allow Granite State voters to hear the contrast between the candidates and their closing arguments. He took a dig at Nikki Haley’s recent flub about the cause of the Civil War and suggested that the upcoming debate could provide her with an opportunity to clarify her stance. Romeo also called out Donald Trump to step into the arena and stop cowering behind his teleprompter.

Throughout the year, DeSantis has positioned himself as the candidate most eager to debate, going as far as debating California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Fox News’ “Hannity.” His challenge to Haley and Trump is the latest in a series of such challenges made this year.

While Haley has committed to appearing at the CNN’s Iowa debate, there is no confirmation of her appearance in New Hampshire. President Trump, holding a commanding lead in the polls, has opted to miss every Republican debate so far.

In order to qualify for CNN’s New Hampshire debate, candidates are required to poll at 10 percent in three separate New Hampshire or national polls of GOP voters. These debates come after the Republican National Committee voted on Dec. 8 to allow its presidential candidates to participate in unsanctioned debates.

DeSantis and Haley are scheduled to appear on CNN for back-to-back town halls at Grand View University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Jan. 4, with DeSantis taking the stage at 9 p.m. EST and Haley following at 10 p.m. EST.

Recent polling from FiveThirtyEight shows President Trump leading in Iowa, with DeSantis in second place and Haley in third. In New Hampshire, Trump has a significant lead, with Haley trailing behind and DeSantis coming in third. Notably, DeSantis has the endorsement of Iowa’s Gov. Kim Reynolds, while Haley is endorsed by New Hampshire’s Gov. Chris Sununu.

As DeSantis gears up for the frenetic few weeks of debates, it remains to be seen how his performance will impact his standings in the polls and whether these debates will prove to be a turning point in the upcoming primaries. As the battle for the Republican nomination heats up, the debates will offer voters a glimpse into the vision and preparedness of the candidates vying for the presidency.

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