Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, both long-term candidates, barely made it into the first Republican presidential debate last month and are reportedly in danger of failing to qualify for the second debate this week.
Both recorded single-digit support in national polls in states that have an early nomination, which the Republican National Committee uses to determine their electability.
The bar is set higher for this debate, which will take place today at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California.
Several better-known Republican rivals are not expected to be cut – although the most well-known candidate is former President Donald J. Trump and he, in turn, plans not to attend the debate.
Trump, who remains the overwhelming favorite for the party’s nomination despite multiple allegations against him, will give a speech to striking auto workers in Michigan.
Some of Trump’s harshest critics in the Republican Party have called for candidates underperforming the party to drop out of the race, solidifying support for a more viable alternative to the former president.
Emma Vaugh, a spokeswoman for the Republican National Committee, commented in an email today that candidates have up to 48 hours before the debate to qualify.
He declined to comment further on which companies had already achieved this.
Before the first debate on August 23, the committee announced that it would raise the polling standard from 1 to 3 and raise funds to qualify for the second debate, which is expected to be televised on Fox Business.