The 3rd Republican presidential debate is set for November 8 in Miami, with the tightest qualifications yet

The third Republican presidential debate will take place in Miami on Nov. 8, a day after many states hold off-year elections, and the candidates will face the toughest demands yet to take part.

Participating candidates must secure 4 percent of the vote in multiple polls and 70,000 unique donors to earn a spot on stage, the Republican National Committee said Friday. Party officials did not immediately respond to questions about who would moderate the debate.

Details of the rally come as the broad GOP field prepares for a second primary debate without the current front-runner. Former President Donald Trump, who also skipped the first debate last month, plans to meet with current and former union members in Michigan instead of attending the Sept. 27 debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.

The requirements for the third debate will be more difficult to meet than the second. For the second debate, candidates need at least 3 percent in two national polls, or 3 percent in one national poll, plus two polls from four of the early voting states — Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, according to the RNC . White House candidates must also have at least 50,000 unique donors.

The GOP has not confirmed qualified participants for Wednesday's debate, but several campaigns have said they have qualified, including former Florida Gov. Ron DeSandis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former vice president Mike Pence.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson participated in the first debate, but their participation in the second is uncertain.

Candidates are placed on stage based on their rank in polls that meet standards set by the RNC, with higher-performing candidates closer to center stage.

Scott, who was second from the far right of the stage for the first GOP debate last month, suggested the RNC change the way it orders candidates for next week's debate. In a letter to Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Scott's campaign argued that since the Iowa caucus is the lead in the GOP polls next year, “the results of the Iowa caucuses should be the primary concern for placing on the podium in the September debate.”

“The debate committee has taken a very careful approach throughout the process, and we continue to welcome input from all candidates, partners and stakeholders,” RNC officials said of Scott's proposal. “We look forward to hosting another fair and transparent round of discussion in Simi Valley.” ___

Associated Press writers Michelle L. Price in New York and Jonathan J. Cooper in Phoenix contributed to this report.


Meg Kinnard can be reached at