GOP presidential primary debate in Milwaukee: Here's what to know

MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- The first Republican presidential primary debate will be held in Milwaukee Wednesday, Aug. 23. 

Where/when will the debate take place?

The debate will take place at 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23 at Fiserv Forum, lasting around two hours.

Who's qualified?

  • Donald Trump, former president
  • Ron DeSantis, Florida governor
  • Tim Scott, South Carolina senator
  • Vivek Ramaswamy, entrepreneur
  • Mike Pence, former vice president
  • Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor
  • Doug Burgum, North Dakota governor
  • Chris Christie, former New Jersey governor


Who is moderating?

Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Martha MacCallum will moderate the debate.

What is the format?

Candidates will not give opening statements. They'll have one minute to answer a question and 30 seconds for follow-up questions. They'll each have 45 seconds for closing remarks.

Candidates will be placed on stage based on poll numbers, with the highest polling candidate at the center.

To qualify, the Republican National Committee requires candidates reach at least 1% in multiple eligible polls, gather at least 40,000 donors, and sign a pledge committing to supporting the ultimate GOP nominee.

Trump has said he won't sign it, as he's continued to downplay attending by crediting his lead in the polls.

Vendor fair:

More than 300 Milwaukee-area businesses will get a chance at selling their goods or services during a Convention Partner Fair also being held on Aug. 23.

It will be downtown at the Convention Center from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

The event connects local businesses with opportunities around the Republican National Convention that will take place July 15–18, 2024.

The MKE Host Committee has launched a vendor connection tool on their website for additional information for interested groups to learn more about convention-related opportunities.

"It's a first taste people are going to get that haven't been here before, and they get to see what we have to offer," Prange said.


The city is expected to close some roads around Fiserv for security purposes, but those details have not been released yet.

In anticipation of large crowds, Milwaukee Area Technical College will close its downtown campus Wednesday because of its close proximity to Fiserv.

A notice was sent to students this week alerting them classes may be held online, if possible.

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