Third debate and third chance for Donald Trump to play spoiler: The 2024 Republican presidential candidates face each other on Wednesday during a new platform, without the former president, a poll favorite determined to steal the spotlight.
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As he did during the previous two debates, the billionaire chose to ignore this meeting, which was organized in Miami, because of his very large lead in opinion polls among Republicans, according to him.
Still, this broadcast is an important step on the long road to the White House: Republican candidates for the 2024 election will face each other in a series of primaries starting on January 15. The winner of these polls will likely face the Democratic candidate, President Joe Biden, in the presidential elections next November.
Despite the four indictments against him, Donald Trump is currently crushing the race among Republicans, with voting intentions at about 58%. He relies on a largely loyal base that has supported him so far in his troubles with the law.
The septuagenarian, who was deliberately provocative, decided to personally organize a counter-programme for the Republican debate he was boycotting in Florida. Meanwhile, a major campaign rally will be held in a nearby town in Miami, just 11 miles from the NBC location where the show is being held.
The disdain of the five Republicans, four men and one woman, participating in the debate is completely deliberate.
On stage, the Republican contenders will once again face this haunting question: How do they exist in the face of a former president who absorbs all the political and media attention with his statements, his attacks and his legal disputes?
Starting with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who was once seen as the next generation of the Republican Party, but whose popularity has completely declined in the polls.
The forty-year-old, who rose to prominence with his shocking stances on abortion, gay issues or immigration, now trails Donald Trump by about 45 points, according to polling aggregator RealClearPolitics.
“Unwavering support for Israel”
Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley currently ranks third, with her percentage hovering around 9%. The fifty-year-old’s rhetoric on abortion and diplomacy has been noted during previous discussions.
However, the exchanges during these performances, sometimes with as many as eight people on stage, often devolved into a cacophony of voices.
In this more restricted form, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, the new darling of the American right, said Tuesday during an interview with Agence France-Presse: “I hope the discussion will be more constructive.”
Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, one of the few who have publicly criticized Donald Trump, will complete the lineup on Wednesday evening.
The Republican Party chose to organize this program in partnership with the highly influential conservative Jewish group, the Republican Jewish Coalition.
Party leader Ronna McDaniel said it was a way to reaffirm her “unwavering support for Israel and the Jewish community,” as the country was rocked last weekend by pro-ceasefire demonstrations in Gaza.