Republican Candidates Battle for Attention in First 2024 Debate

The race to choose the Republican Party’s next presidential candidate is in full swing, marked by televised debates aimed at narrowing down the field. The initial debate is scheduled for Wednesday night, but notably absent from the lineup is the current frontrunner, Donald Trump. In an attempt to capture attention, Trump plans to release an interview with Tucker Carlson at the same time as the debate.

Eight candidates have met the criteria established by the Republican National Committee to participate in the Fox News debate. The event, taking place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, will commence at 9:00 PM EDT (01:00 GMT) and will be broadcast across Fox’s platforms, including Fox News Digital, Fox News Audio, Fox Business Network, and Fox Nation. The debate is expected to last approximately two hours, ending at 11:00 PM EDT (03:00 GMT).

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However, Donald Trump has chosen not to participate in the debate, citing his well-known identity and successful presidency. He announced his decision on his Truth Social platform and revealed that he has a pre-recorded interview with Tucker Carlson, which he will air simultaneously with the debate. This strategic move has the potential to draw viewers away from Fox, a network Trump has criticized as being hostile towards him.

The absence of Trump in the debate is significant, given his consistent lead in opinion polls among Republican candidates. A recent poll conducted by CBS and YouGov indicated that 62% of likely Republican primary voters favor Trump as their preferred candidate. Despite this, the debate still holds importance. The same poll highlighted that 91% of likely voters want the focus to be on the candidates themselves, rather than on Trump.

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Although Trump’s lead seems strong, around 50% of voters considering other candidates have expressed interest in waiting to see the debate. This suggests that a strong performance by participating candidates could potentially impact the race. Historical examples indicate that robust debate performances can lead to increased support. For instance, in the 2016 Republican election cycle, both Trump and Ben Carson experienced rises in support after the debates.

Looking ahead, the second Republican debate of the 2024 election cycle is scheduled for September 27 at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute in Simi Valley, California. More details about this debate are expected to be released in the coming weeks, according to Fox.

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avid P. Brown is a seasoned political news journalist on, renowned for his incisive coverage and insightful analysis of current affairs. With a passion for unraveling complex political landscapes, he delivers accurate and accessible reporting, contributing to informed public discourse.

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