(The Center Square) – Eight Republican primary candidates have qualified for this week’s Republican presidential primary debate.
Those candidates expected to be on the stage Wednesday night are:
North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis
Former Ambassador Nikki Haley
Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson
Former Vice President Mike Pence
Businessman Vivek Ramaswamy
South Carolina U.S. Sen. Tim Scott
The Republican National Committee and Fox News Channel will host the debate Wednesday evening in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, which is also the location for the Republican national convention next summer.
“The RNC is excited to showcase our diverse candidate field and the conservative vision to beat Joe Biden on the debate stage Wednesday night,” RNC Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said in a statement.
Notably absent is former President and current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump.
According to The Center Square Voters’ Voice poll released late last week, Trump holds a significant lead over the other candidates in the GOP primary, with 53% support. In second is DeSantis with 18% support. 35 percentage points behind Trump. Former Vice President Mike Pence and entrepreneur and author Vivek Ramaswamy came in at third and fourth place with 7% and 6% support, respectively.
Trump posted on TruthSocial Sunday pointing to a recent CBS poll that showed a 46-point lead over DeSantis.
Trump said he will “not be doing the debates,” confirming previous media reports.
“New CBS POLL, just out, has me leading the field by ‘legendary’ numbers. TRUMP 62%, 46 Points above DeSanctimonious (who is crashing like an ailing bird!), Ramaswamy 7%, Pence 5%, Scott 3%, Haley 2%, Sloppy Chris Christie 2%, “Aida” Hutchinson 1%,” Trump wrote. “The public knows who I am & what a successful Presidency I had, with Energy Independence, Strong Borders & Military, Biggest EVER Tax & Regulation Cuts, No Inflation, Strongest Economy in History, & much more. I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”
The New York Times reported Friday that Trump would skip the debate and instead opt for an interview with former Fox host Tucker Carlson, who now posts often viral interviews on X, formerly known as Twitter.
The platform for that interview has not been announced, but it is expected to be released Wednesday evening.