Ron DeSantis, Nikki Haley go head to head: How to watch the 5th Republican presidential debate

desantis haley
The debate will start at 9 p.m. Wednesday.

The fifth Republican presidential debate of the 2024 election season will also be its first head-to-head matchup.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley are the only candidates taking part in Wednesday night’s debate in Iowa. President Donald Trump, widely considered the GOP field’s front-runner, will again be skipping the event.

Other previous debate participants, including conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, didn’t make the cut.

Here’s how to watch the debate:

What time is the Republican debate?

The debate will start at 9 p.m. EST Wednesday. It’s being moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper and Dana Bash.

What channel is the Republican debate on?

CNN is carrying the debate live on its broadcast network, as well as on CNN International, CNN en Español and CNN Max. It’s the first debate of the 2024 election cycle that CNN is hosting.

Where is the Republican debate?

The setting for the fifth GOP debate is Des Moines’ Drake University, which has played host to presidential debates in each of the four-year cycles since 2007.

The debate comes just five days before the Iowa caucuses kick off the 2024 voting calendar.

Which candidates will be on stage?

Three candidates — Trump, DeSantis and Haley — qualified for the debate stage, but only DeSantis and Haley have committed to attend.

Instead of joining his rivals, Trump is participating in a town hall on Fox News, airing at the same time and taking place about 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) from the debate site.

Haley and DeSantis were both scheduled to take part in their own Fox News town halls earlier this week in Des Moines. The rivalry between the two has only increased as they vie to be the leading GOP alternative to Trump.

DeSantis has said he expects to win Iowa despite trailing far behind Trump in polls. He has portrayed Haley, a former South Carolina Governor who was Trump’s U.N. Ambassador, as a puppet of wealthy donors and someone who has flip-flopped on key issues.

Haley, who hopes to edge out the better-organized DeSantis in Iowa, has accused him of misrepresenting her record, especially on taxes, and of falsely portraying himself as tough on China.

To qualify for CNN’s Iowa debate, candidates needed to register at least 10% support in three separate polls, either nationally or in Iowa.

Ramaswamy, who qualified for other debates but not this one, said he would be participating in a podcast with Tim Pool instead.

What’s up next?

There are already other debates on the books in the next state to cast GOP votes: New Hampshire, on Jan. 23.

ABC has announced plans for a debate on Jan. 18 at Saint Anselm College. CNN also intends to hold another debate on Jan. 21 at New England College.

Candidates who finish in one of the top three spots in the Iowa caucuses will be invited to participate in CNN’s New Hampshire debate, as well as those who meet the network’s polling qualification, which includes a 10% polling threshold in New Hampshire.


Republished with permission of The Associated Press.

Associated Press


  • Earl Pitts "Sage Political Expert Emeritas" American

    January 10, 2024 at 8:01 am

    Good Mornting Dook 4 Brains Leftys,
    I, Earl Pitts American, care about you and am counting on all of my beloved Dook 4 Brains Leftys when you go to cast your POTUS vote to cross party lines and vote for DeSantis.
    Thank you my beloved Dook 4 Brains Leftys,
    Respectfully yours, Earl Pitts American

  • Dont Say FLA

    January 10, 2024 at 8:05 am

    Tough guy Rhonda is going to prove his Presidential worth by taking on the little lady.

    This is so clearly a no-win situation for Rhonda. How danged foolish is this guy?

    “I’m going to show everybody how much smarter I am than her and I’m going to handle her and shut her down SO hard”

    PUT THE SHOVEL DOWN, RHONDA. The hole you dug yourself is far too deep already. You’ll never crawl back out of it. This is not a short joke. The hole is so deep even Shaq wouldn’t be able to get out of it. PUT THE SHOVEL DOWN.

  • Eugene Krabs

    January 10, 2024 at 8:10 am

    Look here everyone that is how you successfully ask for the vote. Most everyone tries to frighten voters into making their presidental choice.
    But this guy Earl knows how to be respectfull of everyones feelings and just ask nicely. Krabs predicts a Desantis win because of this nice guy earl.

  • Dancing Outlaw

    January 10, 2024 at 4:32 pm

    After each debate loss, Ron denies losing. That must be why Trump refuses to debate. Can’t have two losers both denying they lost, can we? His excuse for losing this time will be that he had to use kid gloves lest he be accused of manhandling a woman. Yeah, Rhonda, that’s why you lost. Doofus.

Comments are closed.


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