ABC News cancels Thursday’s New Hampshire debate

Jan 17, 2024 | Political News

Debate may swirl on who is No. 2 behind former President Donald Trump in the race for the Republican nomination.

But there’ll be no debate in New Hampshire on Thursday. Shortly after the commitment deadline Tuesday evening, ABC News said the planned three-candidate debate at St. Anselm College in Manchester was canceled.

The state’s primary is Tuesday.

The news was no surprise. The debate invites the top three finishers in the Iowa caucuses only, and Trump has chosen counterprogramming and rallies rather than any risk of his significant lead in every major national poll, including The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll. Candidates Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley also qualified, with the former saying he would be there and the latter saying she would only go if Trump was on stage.

DeSantis, the Florida governor, ran was a distant second to Trump in Iowa, 51%-21%. Haley, the former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador, was at 19%.

In New Hampshire, polling has shown Haley making gains on Trump though still far behind.

South Carolina, on the first Saturday in February, is the next primary after New Hampshire.