Who's in tonight's 2024 Republican presidential debate, and how to watch

Faith E. Pinho, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Political News

Seven Republican hopefuls vying to carve out a lane in the presidential primaries race will face each other in a debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley on Wednesday evening.

The Republican National Committee has announced that seven candidates meet the requirements to stand on the debate stage:

•Doug Burgum, governor of North Dakota

•Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey

•Ron DeSantis, governor of Florida

•Nikki Haley, former ambassador to the U.N.

•Mike Pence, former vice president

•Vivek Ramaswamy, businessman


•Tim Scott, senator from South Carolina

The debate will air on Fox Business Network and Univision as well as on the streaming service Rumble. It will begin at 6 p.m. PST.

To qualify for the debate, candidates had to reach at least 3% in multiple polls and have at least 50,000 unique campaign donors. They also must pledge to participate only in RNC-sanctioned debates, to share certain data with the RNC and to support the party's eventual nominee.

Former President Trump, who leads the Republican field in polls by a wide margin, will again sit out the debate, instead opting to hold an event with striking autoworkers in Michigan. Rather than joining the first GOP debate last month, Trump released a one-on-one recorded interview with former FOX News host Tucker Carlson.

Wednesday evening's forum will offer a space for the candidates to differentiate themselves from Trump — and each other. At the first GOP debate last month, Ramaswamy stole the spotlight as he fielded attacks from most of the other candidates on stage on issues such as foreign policy and climate change.

DeSantis, who has averaged second place in polling since announcing his presidential bid earlier this year, has continued to slide in popularity. A poll released earlier this month showed that Trump's support among likely Republican primary voters in California had soared, with DeSantis and Haley falling into distant second and third places.

Democrats have mounted a debate counter-programming effort, with President Biden touring campaign fundraisers in San Francisco this week. The Democratic National Committee is reportedly planning to fly a plane over the Reagan library and drive a billboard truck around the venue.

©2023 Los Angeles Times. Visit at latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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