Four presidential hopefuls will face each other for the fourth time Wednesday night for the final Republican primary debate of the year.
The candidates — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie — will take the stage at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.
The debate will begin at 5 p.m. Pacific. It will air on NewsNation, via television, online streaming and phone apps. The CW television network will also broadcast the debate in the Eastern and Central time zones. KTLA-TV (Channel 5) in Los Angeles will carry the debate at 5 and again at 8 p.m. Online streaming platform Rumble will also carry the event.
Former President Trump, who has skipped the previous three primary debates, plans to skip Wednesday night's event as well. Trump enjoys a huge lead over his opponents, with 59% support on average in Republican primary polls, according to polling aggregator FiveThirtyEight. DeSantis averages 13%, with Haley close behind at 10.5%.
Several candidates have dropped out of the race months before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses set for Jan. 15. North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum was the latest to exit the field Monday, following former Vice President Mike Pence and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott, who quit last month.
NewsNation anchor Elizabeth Vargas, one of the debate moderators, told The Times she would focus many of the questions on Trump, who is the main opponent the four candidates have to overcome. In previous debates, candidates focused their ire mostly on President Biden or one another.
NewsNation is also inviting viewers to submit questions for the candidates.
Vargas will moderate alongside Megyn Kelly, host of SiriusXM's "The Megyn Kelly Show," and Eliana Johnson, editor in chief of the Washington Free Beacon. The debate could be a boon to the relatively nascent NewsNation, which has steadily been growing since its launch in 2020. Last month's third GOP candidate debate drew 7 million viewers to NBC.
"All of us at NewsNation are incredibly honored to be hosting a presidential primary debate and to be part of what will be another historic election season. We are also extremely pleased to have the opportunity to introduce more Americans to NewsNation," said Sean Compton, Nexstar's president of networks, in a statement.
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