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RFK Jr. Fails to Qualify for CNN Debate

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. will reportedly not be joining President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump on the debate stage next week after failing to meet two of the three minimum criteria by the Thursday, June 20 deadline.

CNN announced shortly after midnight Thursday morning that Biden and Trump were preparing for a “historic showdown,” with the “stage now set” for their June 27 encounter.

With the “debate qualification window” expired at 12:00:01 a.m. ET, only Biden and Trump had met CNN’s constitutional, ballot qualification, and polling standards, which the network established in May.

Kennedy met the constitutional requirements of being legally qualified to run for president and filing a formal declaration of candidacy with the Federal Elections Commission, but he failed to meet the other two.

The polling threshold required a candidate to receive at least 15% support in four separate national qualified polls of registered or likely voters, and the ballot qualification criteria required a candidate to appear on enough state ballots to receive 270 Electoral College votes, the bare minimum required to win the presidency.

According to debate regulations agreed upon by the Biden and Trump campaigns, there will be no studio audience, and the candidates’ microphones will be muted except when it is their turn to speak.

There will be no props or pre-written notes allowed on stage, and each candidate will be provided with a pen, a pad of note paper, and a bottle of water.

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