COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — In a crucial event for the Republican Party’s 2024 presidential nomination race, five Republican presidential hopefuls will face off Wednesday in a third debate hosted by NBC News and sanctioned by the Republican National Committee.

The debate, set to air live from 8 to 10 p.m., will be moderated by “NBC Nightly News” anchor Lester Holt and “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker, according to NBC News. Also participating will be Hugh Hewitt, host of “The Hugh Hewitt Show” on Salem Radio Network.

The candidates taking the stage in Miami include former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, and Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina. Notably absent from the lineup is the GOP front-runner in the polls, former President Donald Trump, who has opted not to participate in the debate.

In an NBC interview, Holt highlighted some key points for viewers to watch during the event. He noted that the absence of Donald Trump would be a prominent theme, as viewers are likely aware of his decision not to attend.

“I think viewers will want to watch to see to what extent the candidates will virtually put him on the stage,” Holt said. “To go against the frontrunner in the way candidates typically do when they’re standing next to each other.”

Holt also drew attention to the competitive landscape among the candidates.

“Nicky Halley has closed the distance and drawn even with Governor DeSantis in Iowa in the latest NBC /Des Moines Register/Media Com Iowa poll,” Holt noted. “I would watch closely the dynamic there, as they each seek to come out of this debate with momentum. It could make for some interesting exchanges.”

Watch NBC News’ “Republican Presidential Debate” on Wednesday starting at 8 p.m. on WTWO.