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Here’s what we can expect from the first GOP debate in Milwaukee

MILWAUKEE, Iowa — Following Donald Trump’s announcement that he is sitting out the first Republican debate, here is what we can expect from the stage Wednesday night.

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Former President Trump expressed confidence in Iowa, and on his Truth Social social media website, he said he was so pleased with recent polls that he declared, “I will, therefore, not be doing the debates!”

Just hours earlier, the chair of the Republican Party was hoping he would show up.

“Well, I’m still holding out hope that President Trump will come,” Ronna McDaniel said. “I think it’s so important that the American people hear from all candidates.”

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Regardless, the show will go on in Milwaukee.

According to FOX News, eight candidates now meet the fundraising and polling requirements and agreed to sign a loyalty GOP pledge to, among other things, support the Republican nominee no matter what, even if some seemed to add an asterisk.

“I signed the pledge. I’m confident that Donald Trump is not going to be the nominee of the party,” Republican candidate Asa Hutchinson said.

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However, Trump will still make big headlines this week when he turns himself in to face criminal charges in Georgia. His rivals, meanwhile, focus on Wednesday’s debate and an opportunity to chip away at Trump’s lead.

“We’ll be ready to do what we need to do to deliver our message,” said Florida Governor and Republican candidate Ron DeSantis.

“Once this debate happens this week, it’s off to the races,” said Republican candidate Nikki Haley.

Biden campaign officials, in the meantime, are expected to be on the ground in Milwaukee this week to get out their message.

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