How to watch the second Republican debate tonight

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FILE - Republican presidential candidates, from left, former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Vice President Mike Pence, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum stand at their podiums during a Republican presidential primary debate hosted by FOX News Channel Wednesday, Aug. 23, 2023, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Morry Gash, File)

The second Republican presidential debate is drawing near with a smaller onstage lineup than the first event last month.

The Republican National Convention confirmed seven candidates will be on the Simi Valley debate stage. The party set a number of markers that candidates needed to meet to qualify, including achieving benchmarks in polling and donor numbers, as well as signing a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee.

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Here is how you can watch the second Republican debate, including what channel it's on, when it starts and who will be there. We also have our live blog coverage throughout the day.

What time is the Republican debate?

The two-hour debate will start at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday. It’s being moderated by Fox Business Network host Stuart Varney and Fox News Channel host Dana Perino, as well as Univision anchor Ilia Calderón.

What channel is the Republican debate on?

The event will air on Fox News Channel and Fox Business, as well as on the network's website and other streaming and digital platforms. There's also a Spanish-language feed airing on Univision.

As with last month's debate, the Republican National Committee has partnered with Rumble — a video-sharing platform popular with some conservatives — to livestream this one, in lieu of the network’s YouTube channel. RNC Chair Ronna McDaniel said earlier this year this was a decision aimed toward “getting away from Big Tech.”

Where is the Republican debate?

The setting for the second GOP debate is Ronald Reagan's presidential library in Simi Valley, California.

Many of the Republican hopefuls have made recent trips to the library for its “A Time for Choosing” speaking series, named for Reagan's pivotal 1964 speech on behalf of GOP presidential candidate Barry Goldwater.

Some in the field also make references on the stump to the 40th president, who for decades has loomed large over Republican politics.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has framed himself as a possible Reagan-esque figure, aiming to oust what he characterized as a weak and unpopular Democratic incumbent in President Joe Biden. Former Vice President Mike Pence often talks of how he “joined the Reagan revolution and never looked back," and took his oath with his hand on the Reagan family Bible.

In the first debate, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy called himself “the only candidate in this race, young or old, black or white, to bring all of those voters along to deliver a Reagan 1980 Revolution.”

Who are the Republican candidates at the second debate?

Those who qualified for the debate are DeSantis, Ramaswamy, Pence, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum.

Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who took part in last month's debate, missed making the cut.

Trump will miss his second debate in a row, deciding there is little upside in joining his lower-polling rivals on stage given his commanding early lead in polls. Instead, he will meet with current and former union workers in Michigan, where thousands of autoworkers have been on strike as part of a labor dispute involving Detroit’s Big Three and the United Auto Workers union.

In lieu of last month's debate, Trump participated in an interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson, a pre-taped sit-down that aired on social media just as eight of his rivals took the stage in Wisconsin.

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Meg Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP.