The second Republican debate is coming up next week at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. The qualifications to make the stage are stricter this time, with candidates needing to meet higher polling and donor requirements. Six of the eight candidates from the first debate are projected to return, with North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson not yet qualifying. FOX News’ latest power rankings show former Vice President Mike Pence in sixth place behind former President Donald Trump, and he joined the podcast to discuss the state of the 2024 race. He tells the Rundown that he is disappointed in his former running mate’s decision not to debate and shares why he thinks he is the most qualified conservative in the race.

The price tag of a four-year college degree continues to rise; in fact, the cost has increased by 79 percent since 1995. At the end of August, President Biden said his administration was committed to making a college education “an affordable ticket to the middle class” via loan forgiveness programs. He unveiled the SAVE plan–the administration’s second attempt at federal student debt forgiveness after the first was defeated in the Supreme Court. But college enrollment has dropped well below pre-pandemic levels, while trade school enrollment numbers continue to grow. Former White House economist and author of “Making College Pay,” Beth Akers, joins the podcast to explain why a new generation is questioning the value of a four-year degree, the factors boosting trade schools as an alternative path, and the threat that student loan forgiveness may pose in the long term.

Plus, commentary by author and vice president of communications for Focus on The Family, Paul Batura.