Want to tune in for the third GOP presidential debate? Here’s how to watch


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — It’s time for the third Republican presidential debate, and there’s going to be an even smaller lineup onstage than the last gathering.

Here’s all of the information on how to watch:

What time is the Republican debate?

The two-hour debate will start at 8 p.m. ET on Wednesday. It’s being moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt and Kristen Welker, as well as nationally syndicated Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt.

What channel is the Republican debate on?

NBC says the event will air on its television, streaming and digital platforms, including streaming on NBCNews.com.

As with the other two debates, the Republican National Committee has partnered with Rumble — a video-sharing platform popular with some conservatives — to livestream this one, in lieu of the network’s YouTube channel. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said earlier this year this was a decision aimed toward “getting away from Big Tech.”

Where is the Republican debate?

The setting for the third GOP debate is the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.

The selection of Florida as a debate site highlights not only the state’s importance to the election writ large but also its two native candidates. Gov. Ron DeSantis last year was reelected to his second term leading the state, which former President Donald Trump has also called home since leaving the White House.

Once the swingiest of swing states, Florida has been growing redder and redder in recent election cycles. In 2016, Democrats had about 327,000 more registered voters in the state. Now, the GOP has about 626,000 more registered voters.

The debate is sponsored by the Republican Jewish Coalition, which recently hosted its summit that for years has been a key stop for GOP candidates seeking not only to court Jewish voters but also to present themselves as stalwart allies of Israel, a key priority for many in the party’s base, particularly Christian evangelicals.

That effort is even more prominent now given the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. About 43% of Florida’s Jewish voters supported Trump in the 2020 presidential election, compared with 30% of Jewish voters who supported him nationwide, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of the electorate. DeSantis won 45% of Jewish voters in his reelection, when he flipped traditionally Democratic Miami-Dade County while winning a majority of Latino voters statewide.

Which candidates will be on stage?

Five Republicans will be on the debate stage, the smallest field yet as polling and donor benchmarks for qualification rise.

DeSantis, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will participate in the Miami event.

That means North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who barely made the second debate, won’t be on stage. Neither will former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who participated in the first debate but missed the cut for the subsequent two. Former Vice President Mike Pence, who participated in the first two debates, has since dropped out of the race.

Trump is yet again skipping the debate, having decided there is little upside in joining his lower-polling rivals on stage, given his commanding early lead in polls. Marking the third time he’s scheduled an event of his own instead of joining his rivals, Trump on Wednesday night will hold a campaign rally in Hialeah, Florida, a half-hour away from the Miami debate site.

Instead of making debate appearances, Trump thus far has participated in a pre-taped interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson and met with current and former union workers amid a labor dispute in Michigan.


Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.

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