Third Republican Primary Debate: How To Watch, Who's Taking Part And What Trump's Doing Instead Of Attending

Zinger Key Points
  • A third Republican primary debate will be held Wednesday night in Florida.
  • A look at the candidates who qualified for the debate and the ones that missed out.

A third Republican primary debate is set for Wednesday night and will feature several candidates running for the GOP nomination for U.S. president in the 2024 election.

Here's a look at how to watch the debate, the candidates appearing, and what former President Donald Trump will be doing to counter-program the event.

How to Watch: The debate will be held in Florida on Wednesday, Nov. 8 from 8 p.m. ET to 10 p.m. ET.

Media company Comcast Corporation CMCSA landed the rights for NBC. The debate will also stream free and live on NBC News Now and Peacock.

Lester Holt, Kristen Welker and Hugh Hewitt will moderate.

Fox Corporation FOXFOXA previously aired the first two 2024 debates.

Rumble RUM will also live stream the debate as an official partner on all three of the Republican debates.

Related Link: Trump Takes The Lead Over Biden In Latest 2024 Election Poll

Candidates on Stage: The following five candidates will appear on stage:

  • Chris Christie
  • Ron DeSantis
  • Nikki Haley
  • Vivek Ramaswamy
  • Tim Scott

This marks the smallest field of the three primary debates. Eight candidates were on stage for the first event; seven for the second.

Republican presidential candidates Asa Hutchinson and Doug Burgum failed to qualify for the third debate. They could be the next candidates to drop out of the race, facing large odds against them now going forward.

The second primary debate had Burgum on stage along with former Vice President Mike Pence, who was the latest candidate to drop out of the race.

Trump will once again skip out on the debate with a large lead in election polls. A recent Morning Consult poll showed Trump with 63% of support and a 48-point lead over his competitors. The five candidates appearing on stage Wednesday have a combined 35% of support from Republican voters in the latest poll.

Trump Planning Counterprogramming: While Trump will skip the third debate, he has plans to rally and highlight his own 2024 presidential campaign.

Trump will host a rally at 7 p.m. ET at Ted Hendricks Stadium in Florida, located in proximity to the third debate.

Arkansas Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders is expected to attend the rally and officially endorse Trump for president.

Sanders is a former White House press secretary under Trump and also served as a senior advisor to Trump on his 2016 presidential campaign.

Trump has failed to appear on stage at the primary debates but has been active with counterprogramming. An interview between Trump and Tucker Carlson was released on Twitter, now known as X, shortly before the first debate began. Trump held a rally to support union autoworkers in Detroit during the second primary debate.

Why It's Important: With Trump skipping the debate, questions on the importance of the debate and viewership will be top of mind.

A new Morning Consult poll showed that 40% of Republican voters said the primary debates are "very important," which is down from 49% answering the same before the first debate.

Viewership for the second Republican primary debate was 9.3 million people, which was down 27% from the first debate, a significant fall from the 4% drop between the first two debates in the 2016 election cycle.

The 9.3 million marked the lowest television viewership for a Republican presidential debate since Trump became a candidate for the party.

A survey showed high expectations for DeSantis at the third debate, with 34% picking him to perform the best, followed by 26% for Ramaswamy and 17% for Haley.

Read Next: Trump Calls AG Political Hack In Testimony, Says Fraud Trial Is Election Interference

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Posted In: EntertainmentPoliticsTop Stories2024 election2024 Presidential ElectionAsa HutchinsonChris ChristieDonald TrumpDoug Burgumelection pollMike PenceMorning ConsultNikki HaleyRepublican primary debateRon DeSantisTim ScottVivek Ramaswamy
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