Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty says he'll show up at the first Republican primary debate in South Carolina next week. Pawlenty's statement urges his fellow likely candidates to show up--with good reason, because he might not have many people to debate. The first GOP debate had to be canceled for lack of candidates; this far, only Ron Paul and former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer have indicated they'll be next to Pawlenty at the podium May 5 in Greenville.
Earlier this month, organizers touted Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum as confirmed attendees. But now it's less clear that they're in. Newt Gingrich, who hinted that he'll formally announce next week, won't be able to make the debate deadline either, his spokesman told National Journal's Beth Richard.
Fox News won't cancel the debate, but last week it acknowledged the lack of debaters by bumping the qualifying deadline from April 29 to May 3. Fred Karger, the California gay activist who won a significant victory just by being invited to the event, won't be able to show up, the Huffington Post's Jason Linkins reports. He doesn't meet one of the debate's requirements: polling at least 1 percent in five national polls.
There's a chance pizza magnate Herman Cain will too, Politico's Andy Barr reports. Though many have assumed Mitt Romney won't show, Ben Smith reports he hasn't made up his mind.