With just over one week to go, Republican presidential candidates are scrambling to punch their tickets to the second GOP debate.
Among those on the outside looking in are former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.
SCRIPPS NEWS’ ANDREW RAFFERTY: It looks like you’re right now not in that debate conversation. Do you plan to be on the stage?
DOUG BURGUM: Yeah, we plan on being on the stage. But I would just say I think this is one of the things that’s wrong with — there’s plenty of things wrong with how we elect presidents in this country. But one of the things we’re taking the power away from is the early states.
RAFFERTY: Do you plan on being at the debate?
ASA HUTCHINSON: I do plan on it. There are a number of polls coming out, I expect that will help us to hit the criteria.
Their biggest hurdle is the Republican National Committee raising the polling threshold between the first and second debate from 1% to 3% in eligible polls, including at least one national poll — where both of these candidates are near the bottom of the pack.
“If there was no national poll requirement, and they said, you’ve got to be above a threshold for Iowa, New Hampshire, we’d be on the debate stage and you and I could spend this time actually talking about the economy, energy and national security, but we end up talking about process because of clubhouse rules,” said Burgum.
The Burgum campaign has pointed to surveys that show him beating some of his higher-profile rivals in New Hampshire. And voters in the granite state considering Burgum say he should be part of the conversation.