(The Center Square) – CNN has canceled its scheduled Sunday evening GOP presidential debate to be held in New Hampshire, the second debate to be nixed in less than 24 hours.
It is the first time in decades no debates will happen in the state ahead of the primary on Tuesday.
ABC was scheduled to host a debate Thursday evening at St. Anselm College in Manchester. The network decided to pull the plug after former President Donald Trump and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley declined to debate, leaving Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis the sole participant.
In lieu of the debate, CNN will host a town hall with Haley at New England College in Henniker on Thursday evening, moderated by Jake Tapper, following a similar event the network hosted with DeSantis on Tuesday evening.
DeSantis called out his fellow GOP candidates and President Joe Biden for refusing to debate, accusing the other candidates of running “basement” campaigns.
“We have four candidates for president now: Joe Biden, Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, and me. I’m the only one who’s not running a basement campaign at this point,” DeSantis said during the town hall. “I’m the only candidate that actually agreed to come to New Hampshire to debate, and what does that say?”
With the first-in-the-nation primary scheduled for Tuesday, Trump continues to lead in the Granite State, with Haley chipping away at his lead in recent weeks following a huge boost from Gov. Chris Sununu’s endorsement.
DeSantis, who placed second in the Iowa caucuses, hasn’t fared as well in New Hampshire. He opted to focus his campaign energy on the Hawkeye State, and went to South Carolina after Monday’s result before heading to New England.
Meanwhile, Haley has been crisscrossing the Granite State, hoping to score an upset.
The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll from earlier this month continues to show Trump as the frontrunner by a wide margin for the Republican nomination.