Republican Debates: Trump’s Rivals In Need Of A Game-changer

Donald Trump has taken a commanding lead in the race to be the Republican presidential nominee for 2024. His opponents need to make a game-changing impression at the TV debates.

First, each of the 14 candidates must gather enough donors and hit certain opinion polling metrics to qualify for the stage.

Several prominent names say they’ve made the cut, while others are still desperately corralling support.

But with Mr Trump threatening to skip the debates in order to preserve his huge lead, it is unclear how much these forums will influence the race.

When are the debates?

The first debate of the Republican presidential primary will be held on Wednesday 23 August, with a second possibly to follow the next night.

The first one will take place in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is also where the party will host its formal nominating convention next year.

Wisconsin is a battleground state that the eventual Republican nominee will probably need to win at the November 2024 general election in order to get to the White House.

At least two more debates are expected in the ensuing months, with the next one expected to be held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in California in September, but no dates have yet been set.

Voting in the Republican primary election begins in Iowa on 15 January 2024, but more debates are likely to be held to help winnow the field. The 2016 election saw the party hold as many as 12 debates.

Why is Trump skipping?

Trump participates in the final 2020 debate with Joe BidenIMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES Image caption,Mr Trump says he sees no need to participate in the debates


Over the past few months, the former president has suggested he won’t join the debates.

He has cited polls that show him leading other candidates by “seemingly insurmountable numbers”, and has complained that proposed moderators and venues may be “hostile” towards him.

It comes as the Republican Party as a whole has cast doubt over whether it will participate in debates with the eventual Democratic nominee ahead of the general election.

They claim the Commission on Presidential Debates, which has organised such forums since 1987, is “biased and has refused to enact simple and common sense reforms to help ensure fair debates”.

Mr Trump, 77, has a history of threatening to skip debates – but does not always follow through.

He boycotted a 2016 debate hosted by Fox News, alleging that moderator Megyn Kelly was biased against him, and hosted a separate event.

He also suggested he might skip his TV duel with Democrat Joe Biden, but did not.

Ahead of the debate this August, he has threatened to hold his own event the same evening.

If Mr Trump does decide he wants to square off with his rivals, however, he will easily qualify for the debate stage.




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