GOP debate live updates: Republican candidates face off for a second time without Trump

Republican presidential candidates will gather in California on Wednesday for the second GOP primary debate of the 2024 election season.

Seven candidates who qualified for the event in Simi Valley will make their case to conservative voters that they’re the strongest candidate to defeat President Joe Biden next year.

But the current Republican frontrunner, Donald Trump, won’t be in attendance. The former president has argued he’s so far ahead in Republican polls that he shouldn’t give his rivals a chance to take shots at him onstage. Trump also didn’t attend the first Republican debate, where candidates covered issues ranging from the war in Ukraine to abortion rights, inflation and the Jan. 6 Capitol attack.

Follow along with USA TODAY’s live coverage as our reporters in California and Washington cover everything you need to know about Wednesday’s faceoff.

What’s the Republican debate lineup?

Seven Republican candidates are expected to participate in the Wednesday debate: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who qualified for the first GOP debate last month, did not make the stage this time.

Former GOP Rep. Will Hurd of Texas, pastor Ryan Binkley, radio host Larry Elder and businessman Perry Johnson did not qualify for the first or second debate.

– Sudiksha Kochi

How can you watch the debate? What channel is the GOP debate on?

Fox Business Network and Univision will broadcast the second Republican presidential primary debate. It will air at will air at 9 p.m. Eastern.

The RNC will also stream the event on video-sharing platform Rumble.

– Anthony Robledo

What time is the Republican debate?

The second GOP presidential primary debate will take place Wednesday, Sept. 27, will air at 9 p.m. Eastern.

The Republican candidates are set take the stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute in Simi Valley, Calif. on Wednesday as they continue vying for their party’s nomination in the 2024 presidential race.

Fox Business Network and Univision will broadcast the second Republican presidential primary debate.

– Anthony Robledo

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Republican debate live updates: GOP hopefuls face off without Trump

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