ABC News and WMUR have canceled the scheduled Republican primary debate in New Hampshire on Thursday, citing a lack of candidate engagement as the primary reason.

In a statement, an ABC News spokesperson explained, “Our intent was to host a debate coming out of the Iowa caucuses, but we always knew that would be contingent on the candidates and the outcome of the race. As a result, while our robust election coverage will continue, ABC News and WMUR-TV will not be moving forward with Thursday’s Republican presidential primary debate in New Hampshire.”

This decision follows a deadline set by ABC News and New Hampshire TV station WMUR for responses from both former President Donald Trump and former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley regarding their debate invitations. However, neither campaign confirmed their attendance.

Four Republicans had initially qualified for the debate, with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie confirming participation, only for Christie to exit the race last week.

Earlier on Tuesday, following Trump’s dominant performance in the Iowa caucuses, Haley stated she would only debate Trump or President Joe Biden, suggesting she would skip a showdown with DeSantis in New Hampshire ahead of its Jan. 23 primary.

Haley’s decision came after she secured third place in Iowa’s caucuses, garnering 19% of the vote, trailing DeSantis with 21% and Trump with 51%.

DeSantis responded, accusing Haley of avoiding tough questions and claiming she is running to be Trump’s vice president rather than seeking the nomination.

While Trump has consistently opted out of GOP debates, citing his substantial lead in polls, Haley expressed readiness to debate if Trump is on the stage.

As the GOP candidates shift their focus to New Hampshire, the cancellation underscores the evolving dynamics within the Republican field, with no clear alternative to Trump emerging following the Iowa caucuses.



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