The Second GOP Debate Field Will Be a Bit Smaller — And Still Missing Trump

September 27, 2023

Follow along for live updates on the second 2024 Republican presidential debate, which begins at 9 p.m. ET in California. The field’s early front-runner, Donald Trump, is skipping the event, just as he did the first. He’ll be 2,000 miles away meeting with union workers in Michigan amid a labor strike.

The candidates on stage will be Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

What to know
— 7 candidates qualified for the second debate. Here’s who missed the cut — Here’s how to watch tonight’s debate — Republicans face growing urgency to stop Trump ahead of debate — Trump heads to Michigan to compete with Biden for union votes — Who’s running for president? See a rundown of the 2024 candidates

Reagan’s library is the setting for the second GOP presidential debate
When seven presidential hopefuls gather at Ronald Reagan’s presidential library for the second Republican debate, expect to hear homages to the “Great Communicator.”

The 40th president remains a hugely popular influence in today’s Republican Party, and the candidates for the 2024 nomination frequently reference him in their speeches.

Former Vice President Mike Pence most often cites Reagan, noting his own pride in advising the Trump administration’s Supreme Court nominees “that sent Roe. v. Wade to the ash heap of history where it belongs.”

Hutchinson misses debate stage but vows to stay in race
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson will miss Wednesday’s debate after failing to meet the criteria to participate. But he says he’s not going anywhere.

In a statement after the candidate field was released Monday night, Hutchinson said he measures his success by the voter response he gets in early voting states like Iowa and New Hampshire. He says his goal is to boost his polling numbers to 4% in one of those states before Thanksgiving.

“If that goal is met, then I remain competitive and in contention,” he wrote.

In lieu of the second debate, he is going to be in Detroit — the same city Trump is traveling to. He plans to hold a press conference to highlight what he says are the former president’s “false promises to blue collar and union workers in Michigan and across America.”


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