Former US president appears to be far ahead of his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination as six hopefuls clear debate hurdle

‘Brutal wake-up call’ for Never Trumpers as others flounder

Good morning, US politics blog readers. One month from today, we will be digesting the aftermath of the first GOP presidential debate, which is set for 23 August in Milwaukee. Such events are a staple of the presidential nomination process, and two polls released over the weekend revealed the contours of the Republican race are largely the same as ever. Fox Business surveys of early voting states Iowa and South Carolina show Donald Trump with a big lead over all his competitors. In the former, Ron DeSantis and Tim Scott are the distant runners up for second and third place, respectively, while in the latter, it’s former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley and then DeSantis.

But the polls are not all bad news for the Republicans aiming to oust Trump as the party’s nominee. Six GOP candidates have qualified for the debate stage based on, among other things, their polling results, Politico reports. These include Trump, DeSantis, Haley and Scott, along with Chris Christie and Vivek Ramaswamy, and it’s possible other candidates, such as Mike Pence, will qualify in the weeks to come. Debates can give candidates important opportunities to stand out in the field, but whether those who qualify show up is a different matter. We’ll tell you more about that later today.

Joe Biden has no public events scheduled, but press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre will brief reporters at 3.30 pm eastern time.

Remember Allen West? Or Scott Walker? They’ll be among the ex-lawmakers speaking at the National Conservative Student Conference, which begins today in Washington DC. Ramaswamy, who is actually seeking office, is the sole presidential candidate billed to appear.

The House judiciary committee may this week vote to hold Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg in contempt, Punchbowl News reports.

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