Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Sen. Tim Scott (R-DC) made the cut.
The Republican National Committee increased the criteria for participation, with candidates needing at least 70,000 campaign donors and 4% support in at least two national polls, or one national poll or two early state polls.
Candidates also need to have signed a loyalty pledge to support the eventual nominee, something that has kept frontrunner Donald Trump from qualifying. But the former president has indicated that he plans to skip all of the debates, and is counter-programming this week’s debate with a rally in south Florida.
NBC News is hosting the debate from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, set to air from 8-10 p.m. ET on the network and streaming on NBC News Now. Other partners are Salem Radio Network, the Republican Jewish Coalition and Rumble. NBC News’ Lester Holt and Kirsten Welker will moderate along with Salem’s Hugh Hewitt.
Seven candidates participated in the last GOP debate, held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA in September. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum did not qualify, and former Vice President Mike Pence dropped out of the race last month.