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On Tuesday morning, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said that she’d no longer attend Republican primary debates unless Donald Trump participates—a move that many warned could end the party’s 2024 debates. Less than eight hours later, those chickens have come home to roost: ABC has officially canceled the GOP debate scheduled for Thursday in New Hampshire, according to a report by the Washington Post.

“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,” an ABC spokesperson told WaPo in a statement. “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.”

As I wrote earlier today, Haley’s refusal not only highlighted Trump’s tight hold on the 2024 election but also reflected a “larger frustration among her rivals, past and present”: 

We’re 17 minutes into this debate and…we’ve had these three acting as if this race is between the four of us,” Chris Christie, who dropped out of the race last week, said at last month’s debate. “The fifth guy, who doesn’t have the guts to show up and stand here, he’s the one who, as you just put it, is way ahead in the polls.” 

The second debate, scheduled for January 21, will be hosted by CNN at New England College. Will this event also receive the axe? Only time will tell.

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