Top Republican candidates in the race to the White House for 2024 are preparing to appear at the first debate of the primary election cycle on Wednesday to inform people what they have to offer for a better tomorrow.
Wednesday’s debate is scheduled to begin at 8pm local time (0100 GMT on Thursday) on Fox News from the Fiserv Forum in downtown Milwaukee in the US state of Wisconsin, one of the most politically competitive states in the country.
Democrats and Republicans will both be putting a lot of effort to win in Wisconsin in the 2024 presidential election.
In about 11 months, Wisconsin will host the Republicans’ national convention, where they will formally choose a rival to Democratic President Joe Biden.
Who will be attending?
All of the leading Republicans running for office will be at the event, with the notable omission of former President Donald Trump, who has chosen to appear for an interview with conservative commentator Tucker Carlson instead.
However, it is a decision that has been criticised by his rivals. According to the most recent Reuters/Ipsos poll, Trump is leading the field by 34 points.
Candidates are required to have received contributions from at least 40,000 different contributors and have met minimal thresholds in national or state-level polls in order to be eligible.
Those who appear to have reached the threshold or are extremely close to doing so are Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, US Senator Tim Scott, former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum and Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.
The contenders must also affirm their support for the eventual Republican nominee by signing a pledge.
What questions will candidates encounter?
The Republican National Committee will be holding two more debates; one in California in September while the next one will likely be held in October in Alabama.
Additionally, Martha MacCallum, a Fox News host and Bret Baier’s colleague, confirmed that while the set of questions for such debates is not publicly disclosed, abortion and Donald Trump’s criminal indictments will be on the table.
The debate on abortion restrictions and Trump’s indictments is contentious, with most Republicans favouring strict laws, while moderates and independent voters disagree.
Meanwhile, Republicans view the issue of Trump’s charges as politically motivated, making it a fraught issue for rivals, Reuters reported.
What is the importance of the debates?
Poor performances during prior primary campaigns have occasionally doomed candidacies, while great performances have catapulted lesser-known candidates into the top tier.
Additionally, campaign strategists predict that the debate will draw millions of people, many of whom will be watching the election for the first time.
In the months leading up to the first nominating contest in Iowa, the first debate typically signals the beginning of a more active phase of the campaign.
The discussion could be especially important for DeSantis, who is trailing Trump in the polls but whose support has declined throughout the summer.
Allies claim that if he does well, the debate might be a pivotal turning moment but an ineffective performance could cause him to revert to the pack.