The Stage Is Now Set for the Second GOP Debate - Who Made the Cut?

AP Photo/Morry Gash

The field for Wednesday night's GOP Presidential Primary Debate has now been officially set, and it's narrowed a smidge from the first debate, with former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson being voted off the island. 


The second debate is being held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California, and will feature

The August debate drew 12.8 million viewers.

The first GOP Debate of the 2024 Election cycle turned out to be a ratings boon for Fox News. Even without a showing from former President Donald J. Trump, who partnered with former Fox News star host Tucker Carlson to do a competing interview, the network somehow managed to make a better showing in the ratings on Wednesday than they did in 2016 and 2020.

As with the first debate, former President Donald Trump is electing not to participate and will, instead, be addressing auto workers in Detroit. 

Trump’s visit will occur against the backdrop of an ongoing strike by the United Auto Workers (UAW) against Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., and Stellantis. The Trump campaign appears to be intent on reaching out to these individuals with an event hosting 500 of them.

While the field will be slightly less crowded Wednesday night, the elimination of Hutchinson from the mix isn't likely to shake things up much as his performance at the first debate was rather subdued. Burgum is undoubtedly pleased to have made the cut, as even his appearance at the first debate was placed in doubt after he sustained an Achilles tear that morning. Certainly, we can expect some more fireworks between Ramaswamy, Christie, and Haley.


The official podium lineup has now been set as well. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will stand center stage at Wednesday night's second GOP presidential nomination debate, according to a lineup released Tuesday by the Republican National Committee and unveiled on the Fox News Channel.

Standing alongside at the debate will be former ambassador and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy. 


Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who's making a second bid for the GOP presidential nomination, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina will be standing aside Haley and Ramaswamy.

Standing on the wings of the debate stage will be North Dakota Gov Doug Burgum and former Vice President Mike Pence.

The moderators for the debate will be Fox News political analyst Dana Perino, Fox Business host Stuart Varney, and UNIVISION's Ilia Calderón. 

RedState will, of course, be bringing you full coverage of Wednesday night's debate, including a fun-filled Live Blog during the debate, where you can watch a live stream of the event, see contributors' thoughts on it in real time, and add your own comments to the mix. 

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