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DeSantis Wants What?

The future of Republican presidential debates remains uncertain, including the number of candidates who will participate. However, Ron DeSantis has expressed his desire for a one-on-one showdown with Nikki Haley, and this aspiration might just become a reality.

During an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt, Florida Governor DeSantis shared his hope that the debate qualification criteria would become more stringent, potentially leading to a direct faceoff with the former United Nations ambassador.

When Hewitt asked if DeSantis would be willing to engage in a one-on-one debate with Haley on his radio show, DeSantis suggested that such a showdown might naturally occur in Iowa and New Hampshire.

“Hopefully, they’ll raise the thresholds for qualifying. And it may end up just being a one-on-one debate,” DeSantis told Hugh Hewitt, even before official debate plans had been announced.

Shortly after this conversation, CNN unveiled its plans to hold debates in Iowa on January 10 and New Hampshire on January 21, both with higher entry requirements, if candidates opt to participate. This marks the first public announcement of debate plans for 2024 by a media organization.

To qualify for the Iowa debate, candidates must achieve at least 10% support in three separate national and/or Iowa polls of Republican caucusgoers or primary voters that meet CNN’s reporting standards. One of these polls must be an approved CNN poll of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers.

The same 10% threshold applies to New Hampshire state polls for CNN’s event there, with an additional provision allowing candidates who finish in the top three in Iowa’s January 15 caucuses to participate.

Among the Republican candidates, DeSantis, Haley, and former President Donald Trump consistently poll in double digits among Iowa Republicans. Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has also surpassed 10% in recent New Hampshire polls. However, Trump has chosen to skip all GOP debates in this election cycle. 🎙️🗳️

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