MILWAUKEE – It’s showtime for the Republican presidential candidates – most of them anyway.
While front-runner Donald Trump is absent, a field of eight Republican challengers will gather in Milwaukee on Wednesday for the first primary debate of the 2024 election cycle.
The televised event offers Republican voters a chance to view White House hopefuls side-by-side as they pitch their vision for the country. But the elephant-not-in-the-room is Trump, the leader of the Republican Party, who said he skipped the debate because he has such a big lead in the polls.
It’s not clear how Trump’s Republican rivals will react — or if they will try not to recognize him at all, but instead go after each other and Democratic President Joe Biden.
The USA TODAY Network’s team of reporters will provide live updates from Milwaukee and responses from crucial early voting states. Check back here for everything you need to know ahead of the first Republican debate.
How can you watch the debate?
The first Republican primary debate is scheduled for Wednesday at 9 p.m. Eastern.
The debate, hosted by Fox News, will air on the Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network. It will also be streamed on foxnews.com and on the Fox National streaming service, as well as on Rumble, an online streaming platform.
– Rachel Viewer
Which candidates will enter the debate phase?
The Republican National Committee has formally announced that eight Republican candidates will enter the debate on Wednesday.
– Rachel Looker, David Jackson
What time is the debate?
The debate is scheduled for 9 p.m. Eastern time. It takes two hours until 11 p.m. Eastern Time.
– Rachel Viewer
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Live updates from the Republican debate: GOP candidates get a chance to run head-to-head