2024 Republican presidential candidates gear up for Miami debate without Trump

(The Center Square) – Republican 2024 presidential candidates will gather Wednesday night in Miami to duke it out as the primary season continues.

The Republican National Committee released a full list of candidates who meet the donor and support criteria and who are expected to debate tonight:

  • Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
  • Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
  • Former South Carolina Governor and Ambassador Nikki Haley
  • Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy
  • Senator Tim Scott, R-S.C.

The list of candidates has narrowed in recent weeks as candidates dropped out after failing to gain momentum. The biggest dropout among them was Vice President Mike Pence, who stepped out of the race at the end of October saying “it is not my time.”

Notably, former President Donald Trump will skip the debate and hold a rally in Hialeah, a Florida city adjacent to Miami and just minutes from the GOP debate.

Trump has said the voters know who he is and that he should not have to debate opponents so far behind him in the polls.

The Center Square Voters’ Voice Poll, conducted in conjunction with Noble Predictive Insights, shows Trump is right about his support. Even with nearly 100 criminal indictments and skipping the debates, Trump has more support than all his challengers combined.

The survey of 2,605 voters includes 1,035 Republicans, 1,074 Democrats, and 496 true Independents, and is among the most comprehensive surveys in the nation.

That poll surveyed likely Republican voters about their pick for president and found that Trump has 59% support.

DeSantis is in second place with 13% support and Haley, a former ambassador and governor, comes in third with 9% support.

Ramaswamy, who has made headlines at the previous debates, came in fourth with 7% support.

Scott, R-S.C., and Christie are tied at 2% support. Those candidates will likely be looking to land big shots to save their campaigns, though political analysts speculate that some candidates like Scott could be angling for a vice president selection.

Key issues expected to come up at the debate are the economy and the respective wars between Ukraine and Russia as well as Israel and the terrorist group Hamas.

The debate will be hosted by NBC News partnered with Salem Radio Network, the Republican Jewish Coalition, and Rumble, according to the RNC.

The GOP debate will air at 8 p.m. Wednesday.

“We are looking forward to our third debate in Miami, a welcome opportunity for our candidates to showcase our winning conservative agenda to the American people,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement. “We are especially honored to be the first political party to partner with a Jewish organization for a debate in our partnership with the Republican Jewish Coalition, and our candidates will reaffirm the Republican Party’s unwavering support of Israel and the Jewish community on the stage Wednesday night.”

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