Former U.S. President Donald Trump at a Republican Party event in Columbus, Georgia, on June 10, 2023. Photo: John Bazemore/AP/File

Seven candidates qualified for the second debate of the Republican primary scheduled today in California, and as in the previous one, former US President Donald Trump will also not attend and will instead go to Michigan.

Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson was left out of the list of candidates who will debate tonight at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California.

To win a head-to-head seat, candidates needed at least three percent support in two national polls or three percent in a national poll, as well as two polls from four of the early voting states, Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.

The contenders also needed at least 50,000 unique donors, of which 200 would come from 20 states or territories, and in addition, they had to sign a pledge certifying that they will support the eventual candidate of the party, something that in the first debate Trump refused to sign.

The Republican candidates who will face each other are Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida; South Carolina Senator Tim Scott, who is said to have not fared well in the first debate held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and Nikki Haley, the only woman trying to win the party's nomination identified by the color red.

The former U.S. ambassador to the U.N. experienced a rebound in fundraising after her performance in the first debate and also gained positions in the polls that pointed to her with an advantage over Joe Biden, the almost likely candidate of the Democrats.

Recent polls in her home state of South Carolina showed Haley climbing to second place, well behind Trump — the front-runner — but slightly ahead of other party rivals.

The other qualifier is businessman Vivek Ramaswamy; He joins Chris Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, as well as Doug Burgum, a former software entrepreneur serving his second term as governor of North Dakota, and former Vice President Mike Pence.

This second in the electoral contest with a view to 2024, will face, in the absence of Trump, DeSantis with other Republicans who rebounded, but who at the moment do not represent a threat to the former president, according to opinion studies.

Last month, eight candidates intervened in Milwaukee in the televised discussion, but the former president (2017-2021) decided to skip it "because everyone knows my credentials," he said then.

Charged with 91 criminal charges between state and federal, Trump is the favorite to win the nomination of the reds and could even take the chair in the Oval Office for the period 2025-2029.

(With information from Prensa Latina)

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