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Trump announces Florida rally as he prepares to skip yet another GOP debate

HIALEAH, Fla. — (AP) — Former President Donald Trump will hold a rally in Florida as counter-programming to the third Republican presidential primary debate, which he is once again choosing to skip.

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Trump’s campaign says he will hold a rally the evening of Nov. 8th at a stadium in Hialeah, Florida about a half-hour drive from the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County, where his rivals will be meeting.

Trump has repeatedly said he sees no point in participating, given his commanding lead in the race.

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Hialeah is an overwhelmingly Hispanic suburb, with more than 95% of residents identifying as Hispanic or Latino, according to the most recent census numbers. Most are Cuban or Cuban-American and speak Spanish at home.

The choice of location reflects Republicans’ hopes that they will be able to continue to win over an increasing share of the Hispanic vote in the 2024 elections.

During 2022′s midterms, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, one of Trump’s rivals, became the first Republican governor to win Miami-Dade county, which Hialeah is part of, in 20 years.

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For Trump, a large crowd would also be another show of strength against DeSantis, who was long seen by his campaign as his most serious rival, but who is now struggling to maintain his second-place standing.

NBC will be hosting the November debate, which will require candidates to secure 4% of the vote in multiple polls and 70,000 unique donors to qualify.

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Trump competed with the first debate with a pre-recorded interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson that was posted that night on X, the site formerly known as Twitter. He spent the second in battleground Michigan, where he tried to win over auto workers and blue-collar voters by railing against President Joe Biden’s push for electric cars.

Trump moved back to Florida last month after spending the summer at his Bedminster, New Jersey golf club.

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