Candidates vying for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination are meeting for a third debate in Miami tonight. NBC News is hosting the debate at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, which will air from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

This will be the smallest slate of candidates onstage yet. Just five candidates met the Republican National Committee's qualifying rules this time around: former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, who was in the first two debates, did not qualify this time around. Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who appeared in the first debate, hasn't qualified for these last two events. And former Vice President Mike Pence won't be onstage tonight after he recently dropped out of the 2024 presidential race.

This will also be the third debate in which the party's front-runner for the nomination, former President Donald Trump, won't be in attendance.

The former president has not qualified for any of the Republican debates so far, even though he has met the polling and fundraising thresholds. But he has not met qualifying standards — specifically one that requires each candidate to pledge they will support whoever wins the nomination. Trump has flat out refused to sign that pledge. He has also said that he doesn't want to elevate his opponents by being onstage with them.

Just like in the last two debates, though, Trump is planning some counterprogramming. He will hold a rally in nearby Hialeah, Fla., during the debate. Hialeah is a predominantly Cuban American area, which is a subset of voters Trump has done very well with. In 2020, Trump outperformed expectations specifically with Latino voters in South Florida.

As far as possible alternatives to Trump, all eyes are expected to be on Haley. She has been steadily gaining support in the polls. Much of her momentum started with strong debate performances. There were high expectations that DeSantis would probably fill that role. However, his campaign has had a lot of pitfalls — and he has had some pretty lackluster performances in the last few debates.

This will be the first debate since Israel was attacked by Hamas on Oct. 7. The topic of Israel's response and how President Biden is handling the crisis will surely come up. RNC chair Ronna McDaniel said in a statement ahead of tonight's event that the party is partnering with the Republican Jewish Coalition and she said she expects the candidates will reaffirm the Republican Party's unwavering support of Israel onstage.

Lester Holt and Kristen Welker of NBC will moderate the debate, alongside Salem Radio Network's Hugh Hewitt. NBC News will carry the debate live on air, online and across its streaming platforms.

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