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Smallest Stage Yet: Four Candidates Set to Face Off in GOP Presidential Primary Debate Tonight

The upcoming GOP presidential primary debate is set to be the most intimate yet, featuring just four candidates, as announced by the Republican National Committee on Monday.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie have met the criteria to participate in tonight’s debate in Alabama. The event will be hosted by NewsNation, “The Megyn Kelly Show” on SiriusXM, and The Washington Free Beacon.

Chris Christie secured his spot shortly before Monday night’s deadline, meeting the RNC’s requirements by attaining at least 6% in necessary national and early-state polls. His campaign had previously announced his qualification by reaching the required 80,000 unique donors.

Notably, former President Donald Trump has opted out of the debate once again. Instead, he will be featured in a Fox News town hall on Tuesday and will host a private fundraiser today.

While a majority of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers express that Trump’s decision to skip the debates is inconsequential to them, 42% believe he should participate in at least one debate before the caucuses, according to the latest NBC News/Des Moines Register/Mediacom poll conducted in late October.

Despite Trump’s absence, he continues to dominate the GOP primary campaign, maintaining a front-runner position in the polls. Past debates suggest that the focus may shift to the candidates engaging with each other rather than directly challenging Trump during tonight’s event.