Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s aspiration to secure a spot in the first Republican presidential debate faced a hurdle on Friday night. Despite an earlier confident announcement, the mayor who announced his presidential campaign in June, admitted during a candid interview with CNN that he had not yet met the requirements for qualification.
In a tweet posted early on Friday, Suarez declared, “I am excited to announce that I have met all of the criteria to qualify for the @GOP’s first primary debate.”
“Now, I will renew my efforts to tell America about how I’ve used conservative ideas to turn Miami into a shining example of what our party can be. A party that cares and delivers. A party where your future is only limited by your own efforts,” he added, appealing to Republican voters.
I am excited to announce that I have met all of the criteria to qualify for the @GOP’s first primary debate.
While our campaign only began a few weeks ago, I am humbled knowing that Republicans from all fifty states have donated to our campaign—nearly 50,000 thus far.
Now, I… pic.twitter.com/VNBGVvJ77N
— Mayor Francis Suarez (@FrancisSuarez) August 18, 2023
However, The New York Times highlighted a different perspective, noting that Suarez’s campaign had not yet met the polling requirements.
The RealClearPolitics average, not included in the Republican National Committee’s criteria, indicates that Suarez holds a national standing of only 0.3%. Suarez, during the CNN interview, acknowledged that he still needed to meet the RNC’s polling requirements.
While he referred to a poll from Kaplan Strategies showing him at 2% nationally, he pointed out that the RNC had not yet certified this poll.
CNN’s Kaitlan Collins pressed Suarez during the interview, questioning whether he had received the official certification from the RNC. Suarez responded, “Yes, they have not yet given me sort of that final certification.”
The Associated Press later reported that senior RNC officials confirmed Suarez’s lack of qualification. However, Suarez remained optimistic, expressing hope that additional polls would be released over the weekend, bolstering his chances of debate qualification.
Suarez has always maintained his confidence as a candidate despite his less-than-strong standing. During a conversation with Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds at the Iowa State Fair on Aug. 11, he boldly asserted, “I have absolutely no doubt that I would be an impossible candidate for the Democrats to beat because I happen to have three core constituencies that if they were to lose, they would lose the election by a landslide.”
“It would be like an incredible electoral college victory. If we could win Hispanics, if we could win the urban voters, which I’ve done already, and young voters, it would be game over,” he continued.
While his path to the debate stage may face obstacles, the mayor has said that he is banking on the debate stage as he hopes it would connect him better with the American people.