Elections in the United States: Five candidates participate, without Donald Trump, in the third debate of the Republican primaries | International
The Republican Party primary debates for the 2024 presidential election have something of an exercise in melancholy. All the participants together have less voting intention in the polls than the favorite for the nomination: Donald Trump. Comfortable with his advantage, the former president maintains his strategy of staying out of the direct fight with the rest of the candidates. This Wednesday night, while the five candidates who have met the requirements participate in the third debate, televised live from Miami (Florida), Trump will hold a rally in a Cuban-American majority area of the same State.
From the beginning it seemed clear that the avalanche of Republican primary candidates benefited Trump. The race has been narrowing. Of the eight who faced each other in the first debate, there are three who have not achieved the minimum voting intentions in the polls and donations from the bases that were required to participate in today's meeting. Former Vice President Mike Pence has definitively thrown in the towel, while former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson already missed out on second place and now it is North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum who has not made the cut.
Those who have done so are the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis; former ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley; businessman Vivek Ramaswamy; former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, and Senator Tim Scott. The five face each other today in a debate under Trump's shadow. Christie's anti-Trump campaign has no chance and Tim Scott's limping campaign doesn't look promising either. Ramaswamy has also lost steam, so the greatest interest is aroused by DeSantis and Haley, the latter on the rise. But while they fight among themselves, Trump continues to stand out in the polls.
Republican candidates have been increasing their criticism of the former president, but they are aware that an open attack can be counterproductive, since he is the favorite of the bases. For several of them, including Ron DeSantis, the argument is that Trump, due to his extreme positions and the polarization he generates, scares away moderate and independent voters and, therefore, would not be able to defeat Biden in 2024. However, the most recent polls weaken that message. One year before the elections, Trump is ahead of the president, Joe Biden, in voting intention, especially in the majority of the half-dozen decisive states that can tilt the election one way or the other.
The debate is broadcast on NBC News from Miami. It occurs in a context in which the wars in Ukraine and Gaza force us to debate foreign policy, a subject in which Nikki Haley is more comfortable than the rest of the candidates. Abortion may be another of the prominent topics of the debate after the partial elections held this Tuesday in various States have shown that it continues to mobilize the Democratic electorate. DeSantis is in favor of a federal law that restricts it, like the one he has approved in Florida. Haley, on the other hand, disagrees with her party's official line on this issue.
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