Will former President Donald Trump attend the second 2024 Republican presidential debate, scheduled for September 27 in California?
His participation in the upcoming debate is shrouded in uncertainty as he will be addressing the auto workers on the date.
Set to occur at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation & Institute in Simi Valley, California, the event follows last month’s debate in Wisconsin. It’s organised by the Republican National Committee and will be hosted by the Fox Business Network, alongside Univision and Rumble, commencing at 9 p.m. ET (0100 GMT).
The second debate introduced stricter qualifying rules, resulting in only six expected participants. Former President Trump has confirmed his absence and plans to address autoworkers in Detroit simultaneously.
The six candidates likely to feature in the debate include Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, former UN Ambassador and South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, US Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, biotech investor Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.
The smaller lineup offers candidates more time to engage with one another and make their appeals to voters. Governor Ron DeSantis, whose campaign has faced challenges, aims to secure a standout performance to rejuvenate his candidacy.
With Trump maintaining a significant lead in national polls, the focus has shifted to securing the second-place position, with hopes that Trump’s legal troubles might create an opening.
Vivek Ramaswamy, known for his assertive style, is expected to face attacks, particularly from Nikki Haley and Mike Pence, who performed well in the previous debate.
Candidates are unlikely to target Trump directly but are more inclined to defend him and direct their criticisms towards President Joe Biden, currently under a formal impeachment inquiry in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
The inclusion of Univision as a debate host underscores the significance of Hispanic voters.
Candidates are expected to address economic issues and outline their plans to improve the financial prospects of Latino families, as Republican support among Latinos has been on the rise while Hispanic support for Biden has waned.