Headline RoundupSeptember 26th, 2023

Republican Primary Candidates, Minus Trump, Take Stage for Second Debate

Summary from the AllSides News Team

The second debate in the Republican primary for the 2024 presidential race, hosted by Fox Business (Lean Right bias), is Wednesday night at 9 p.m. ET.

Trump’s Absence: The frontrunner in the Republican primary, former President Donald Trump, is not participating in the second debate. Trump also skipped the first debate, instead sitting down for a one-on-one interview with Tucker Carlson (Right bias). Instead of debating Wednesday night, Trump is speaking at a Michigan auto parts factory amid the UAW strike.

The Lineup: Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and South Carolina Senator Tim Scott are taking the debate stage a second time. The only candidate who participated in the first debate who did not meet the qualifications for the second debate is former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

The Polls: Despite skipping both the Republican debates, Trump holds a commanding lead in the polls. FiveThirtyEight’s (Center bias) aggregated poll statistics currently list Trump at 54%. DeSantis is a distant second at 13.8%. All other candidates are polling on average below 7%.

Media Coverage: Following the first debate, media outlets across the spectrum singled out Vivek and Haley as having made the strongest cases for their candidacy. Apart from seeing bumps in a few polls, their performances did not significantly cut into Trump’s lead.

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