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Scott Makes the Debate Cut

Yesterday, Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) announced that he's qualified for the third Republican candidates' debate. He doesn't actually have enough qualifying polls, at least among the polls that have been publicly released, but he must have inside information about some release-is-imminent poll that will put him over the hump.

Assuming Scott is correct, then the Nov. 8 debate is likely to be a five-person affair: Chris Christie, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy and Scott. Donald Trump has qualified, of course, but will presumably take a pass. Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) might still make it, but he needs a polling near-miracle that's probably not coming. Asa Hutchinson's goose is cooked, and everyone else has already dropped out.

Inasmuch as it has avoided a de facto death sentence, at least for now, Scott 2024 will remain viable for at least a little longer. Thanks to Scott's Senate money, he's got enough cash, and isn't at risk of running out, the way Pence did. He probably won't make the fourth debate stage; the question is when that debate will happen. If the RNC squeezes it in before Christmas, then failing to make the cut could mark the end of the road for Scott. However, time is running out for the Committee to make that announcement (it usually requires about 6 weeks' lead time). If the fourth debate is after the New Year, then the candidates will be within spitting distance of the Iowa caucuses, and so Scott might as well hang on and pray for divine intercession. (Z)

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