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Enter Alan Keyes

From NBC's Mark Murray
JOHNSTON, IA -- There is one additional Republican presidential candidate who will be on the stage here at the GOP Des Moines Register/Iowa Public Television debate this afternoon: Alan Keyes.

This will be the first major debate this cycle featuring the former presidential candidate and ambassador, who most recently faced off against Barack Obama in the 2004 Illinois Senate race (even though he actually hails from Maryland). Keyes did participate in the Tavis Smiley-moderated GOP debate in September, which the top Republican candidates skipped.

Why is Keyes debating, while Kucinich and Gravel are not at tomorrow's Democratic debate? According to Iowa Public Television spokeswoman Jennifer Glover Konfrst, Keyes met the criteria to participate; Kucinich and Gravel did not.

The criteria include: 1) an FEC statement of candidacy; 2) having an Iowa campaign staffer and Iowa campaign office as of October 1; and 3) registering at least at 1% in the October Des Moines Register poll.