Is a Republican presidential debate without former President Donald Trump worth watching?
A large chunk of Republicans don’t seem to think so.
A slim majority of 52 percent of Republicans indicated they would watch Wednesday night’s GOP primary debate on Fox News in an Economist/YouGov poll released the same day.
Of this demographic, only 19 percent said they “definitely” would watch the contest.
A larger 33 percent of Republicans said they “probably” would watch the Milwaukee event.
By comparison, 36 percent said they weren’t planning to watch — with 15 percent “definitely” assured of their decision.
Twelve percent of Republicans weren’t sure about their plans for the debate.
The online poll surveyed 1,309 registered voters Saturday through Tuesday. It had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent.
More Democrats appeared interested in the spectacle than independents, with 42 percent of the former indicating a probable or definite plan to watch.
A mere 27 percent of non-affiliated voters had the same idea.
Across party demographics, 38 percent of Americans said they planned to view the debate, while 47 percent said they had other plans.
Trump announced he had decided against attending the debate days before the contest.
The GOP front-runner also said he is opting out of all primary debates, citing his overwhelming lead in the polls.
Instead of facing his challengers on a debate stage, Trump appeared in a prerecorded interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson released online during the same time frame as the debate.
Ep. 19 Debate Night with Donald J Trump pic.twitter.com/ayPfII48CO
— Tucker Carlson (@TuckerCarlson) August 24, 2023
The former president’s numerous criminal charges were discussed during the debate Wednesday.
The candidates were asked whether they would support Trump as the Republican nominee if he is convicted.
Six of the eight candidates — Florida Gov. Rob DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, former Vice President Mike Pence, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum — raised their hands.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson did not.
We need to stop normalizing Donald Trump’s conduct. It’s beneath the office of the Presidency.
Boo all you want, I’m not going to stop telling the truth. pic.twitter.com/VGinbGuiqT
— Chris Christie (@GovChristie) August 24, 2023
Christie was booed by the Milwaukee audience when he explained his stance.