GOP presidential candidate and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday said he believes he will be able to qualify for the next Republican primary debate, despite doubters.
“You know that many people didn’t think I was gonna make the last debate stage, and I heard your prognosticators already say you don’t think we’re gonna make the next one at the Reagan Library,” he told NBC “Meet the Press” anchor Chuck Todd on Friday. “So I intend to prove it all wrong. I expect to be there.”
The next Republican debate will take place on Sept. 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Southern California.
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In August, the Republican National Committee (RNC) released the criteria the GOP hopefuls must meet in order to qualify for the second debate — slightly more stringent than the first debate.
Candidates will need to have a minimum of 50,000 unique donors, including 200 donors in 20 states or more each, according to the RNC. They will also need to poll at a minimum of 3 percent in two national surveys or poll at 3 percent in one national poll and two polls conducted in two early states — including Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.
Hutchinson currently sits at an average of 0.7 percent in national polls among the Republican candidates, according to FiveThirtyEight. That average is a far cry from the leader of the Republican pack, former President Trump, who has a polling average of 50.3 percent.
“This is a really critical part of the campaign when people are looking at alternatives to Donald Trump,” Hutchinson, who has become one of Trump’s most vocal critics, said. “They’re measuring the field.”
Signing a loyalty pledge — or a vow to support the eventual GOP nominee — was also a requirement. Hutchinson agreed to sign the oath, but has said he doesn’t believe Trump will be the nominee
“I’ll sign the pledge,” he said ahead of the first debate in Milwaukee last month. “I’m confident that Donald Trump is not going to be the nominee of the party, and I’ve always supported the nominee. So I’m going to sign the pledge.”
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