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GOP candidates hit airwaves in final days before Iowa caucuses

Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley will debate on CNN, while Donald Trump opts for a Fox News town hall.
GOP candidates hit airwaves in final days before Iowa caucuses
Posted at 9:16 AM, Jan 10, 2024

The Iowa caucuses are just five days away, and the top Republican presidential candidates are making their final pleas to voters in dueling cable television events Wednesday night.

On one channel, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will face off in a debate hosted by CNN. It will mark the first time this campaign season we'll see just two candidates on stage.

SEE MORE: Who exactly participates in the Iowa caucuses?

Meanwhile, Former President Donald Trump qualified to participate, but like previous debates, he's choosing not to participate — a decision his fellow GOP candidates have repeatedly criticized.

"So if he's able to come to Iowa to do a town hall, why not just go over and do the debate," questioned DeSantis on Jan. 3 at an Iowa campaign event.

Instead of debating, Trump will be on Fox News for a live town hall. The network hosted Haley and DeSantis for town halls earlier in the week, where they covered some key topics on voters' minds.

On the issue of abortion, Haley said, "This is too personal of an issue to use fear or judgment. We need to talk about it in a way that is saving babies and supporting moms. And whatever 60 senators bring to me at whatever level, we will support. Because the only way we are going to do it is if we find consensus on the federal level."

SEE MORE: Cold in Iowa previews what's expected to be a chilly caucus night

When asked about U.S. support for Ukraine, DeSantis said, "We have a lot of challenges in national security. One is our own southern border. And you have people like Nikki Haley that care more about the Ukraine border than she does about our own border here in the United States."

None of the previous town halls or debates have done much to dent Trump's position as the front-runner. Polling in Iowa has repeatedly shown Trump with a lead of more than 30 points. 

However, the biggest impact on Iowa's caucuses might not be these final debates or town halls, but the weather. Temperatures in Iowa on caucus night are expected to hover around zero degrees Fahrenheit.

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