Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said Sunday that “another unhelpful debate in November is not an option” for the party as he called on the Republican National Committee to limit the number of candidates appearing on stage.
In a letter addressed to RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel, Ramaswamy’s campaign argued that only the four candidates with the best results in national polls, aside from Donald Trump, who has already opted out of attending the event, will be allowed to participate in the third GOP Main debate scheduled for November 8th in Miami.
“Against the backdrop of a chaotic second debate and the reality of a front-runner who has refused to participate, we respectfully call on the RNC to overhaul its approach so that Republican voters can focus on serious candidates who have a viable path forward “To beat Joe Biden – or whoever the Democrats have chosen to replace him,” wrote Ben Yoho, Ramaswamy’s campaign manager. according to Politico.
The RNC has so far stated that to qualify for the third debate, candidates must record at least 4% support in two national polls or one national poll and two statewide polls in early voting states and must show that they have at least 70,000 individual donors.
But these conditions are apparently not stringent enough for Ramaswamy, who believes a narrower field would better serve voters.
“Another unhelpful debate in November is not an option: Voters deserve a real choice about who will best serve as our party’s nominee,” Yoho added.
Ramaswamy’s campaign also called for candidates to be given more time during the debate to counter their rivals and for the event to be chaired by just one moderator.
So far, none of the debate participants have managed to emerge as strong challengers to Trump, who continues to dominate the race. An average of national surveys compiled by FiveThirtyEight has the former president at 54.8%, followed by DeSantis at 14.1% and Ramaswamy at 7.1% as of Sunday.
The lack of traction for the debates was also reflected in ratings for last week’s debate in Simi Valley, California, which recorded the lowest viewership for a Republican primary debate since the 2016 presidential campaign cycle.
The RNC has not announced which network will host next month’s debate or who will moderate the event.