DemDaily: Tonight’s Showdown! The Fifth Republican Debate

January 10, 2024

The fifth Republican primary debate of the 2024 presidential election will take place tonight in Des Moines, Iowa, where GOP presidential contenders former South Carolina Governor and former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, will face off head-to-head just five days before the Iowa caucuses kick off the 2024 nominating process.

Absent from the stage will be former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson, who did did not make the debate requirements set by host CNN.

Texas pastor and business executive Ryan Binkley, whose self-financed campaign has failed to garner much support, also did not qualify.

The Republican National Committee (RNC) recently released candidates from a requirement to participate only in party-sanctioned debates, clearing the way for CNN to host tonight's event and the seventh Republican debate January 21 in Henniker, New Hampshire. ABC will host the sixth debate January 18 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Former President Donald Trump also qualified but, as with previous debates, will not attend. While the other candidates were stumping in Iowa, Trump was at the DC US Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday where his lawyers argued his claim of presidential immunity from the Department of Justice's election subversion case and his rote in the plot to overturn the 2020 election.

Trump will return to Des Moines tonight where he will take part in a live Fox News town-hall event at 9:00pm.

The Debate Details
Date: January 10, 2024, Wednesday
Time: 9:00pm-11:00pm ET
Location: Des Moines, Iowa, Drake University
Host Network: CNN
Moderators: CNN anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash
Live Streaming: CNN Max, and CNN apps

In a January 6-8 Trafalger Group/Republican Party survey Trump led with 52% of the support of of likely Iowa voters, followed by Haley and DeSantis at 18%, Ramaswamy at 5%, Christie at 3% and Hutchinson with 1% (MOE +/- 2.9%)

Candidates needed to poll at least 10% in three national and/or Iowa polls of Republican caucus-goers or primary voters as of January 2. The polls had to meet CNN’s reporting standards, including one that’s an approved CNN poll of likely Iowa Republican caucus-goers

The Race for Second Place
While Trump consistently leads in polling -- by a RealClearPolitics average of 50.7% -- Haley and DeSantis have been polling neck-and-neck in both Iowa and national polls,

A January 5-7 Morning Consult poll showed that 45% of the GOP’s prospective electorate consider tonight's debate "very important," up from 40% ahead of the fourth debate in December. In addition, more voters than ever before want to hear the candidates on stage talk about Trump (37%).

The measure of success in Iowa will not be whether Trump wins, but by how much. If either Haley or DeSantis received a surge and Trump comes in less than 45-50%, then it means Trump's seemingly insurmountable hold on the nomination may be vulnerable.

At 5:36pm tonight former Governor Chris Christie dropped out of the race saying, "I am going to make sure that in no way do I ever enable Donald Trump to ever be President of the United States again. And that's more important than my own personal ambition."

DemList will keep you informed.

DemDaily: The 2024 Presidential Primary Calendar! 1/4/23
DemDaily: The GOP Primary: A Snapshot 12/12/23
DemDaily: Countdown to Iowa. The Fourth Debate 12/8/23
DemDaily: The Dwindling GOP Field 12/5/23
DemDaily: New Hampshire First? 11/17/23
DemDaily: The Race for Second Place. The Third GOP Debate 11/10/23

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Kimberly Scott

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Sources: The Hill, CNN, CBS, PBS, Morning Consult, RealClearPolitics

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