NEW YORK (Diya TV) — The upcoming Republican presidential debate on January 10 in Iowa, hosted by CNN, will showcase former President Donald Trump, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Scheduled just days before the Iowa caucuses, the debate offers candidates a final opportunity to impress a national audience.

Haley and DeSantis have confirmed their participation in the debate, scheduled for 9 p.m. ET at Drake University in Des Moines. However, Trump, who leads the GOP field and has skipped previous 2024 debates, will opt for a Fox News town hall in Iowa during the same time.

The one-on-one clash between DeSantis and Haley holds significance as they vie to emerge as the leading alternative to the former president in the GOP’s nominating race. DeSantis’s path to the nomination hinges on a strong showing in the Iowa caucuses on January 15, while Haley aims to build momentum with a robust performance in New Hampshire’s primary on January 23.

Criticism has surfaced on the campaign trail, with DeSantis expressing disapproval of Trump’s absence from the GOP primary debates. Haley echoed this sentiment, stating, “With only three candidates qualifying, it’s time for Donald Trump to show up. As the debate stage continues to shrink, it’s getting harder for Donald Trump to hide.”

The CNN debate, moderated by anchors Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, marks a crucial moment in the GOP race. To qualify, candidates needed at least 10% support in three separate national and/or Iowa polls meeting CNN’s reporting standards, including an approved CNN poll of likely Iowa Republican caucusgoers.

However, three candidates who participated in previous debates—entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson—failed to meet the qualification requirements, sparking disappointment among their supporters.

Ramaswamy, who posted on social media after his exclusion, expressed his frustration and announced plans for a live-audience show on the same night of the debate with journalist Tim Pool. He criticized CNN, labeling their reporting as “shenanigans” and called out some of its reporters, hosts, and commentators.

Trump’s decision to hold a Fox News town hall coincides with the debate, adding an intriguing dynamic to the electoral landscape. The final debate before the Iowa caucuses will play a pivotal role in shaping the narrative as the candidates aim to make a lasting impression on voters.

Additionally, Haley and DeSantis are set to appear in back-to-back town hall events on CNN this Thursday, further contributing to the evolving discourse in the Republican presidential race.