NBC’s Kristen Welker says stakes are high in first Republican debate

Kristen Welker
Kristen Welker(NBC15)
Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 10:37 PM CDT
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MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - NBC’s Kristen Welker said the stakes could not be higher for the first Republican primary debate of the 2024 election season and discussed why Wisconsin is important in the race.

Welker said she expects candidates to make attacks against former President Donald Trump during the debate, and at each other- particularly at Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis.

“DeSantis is Mr. Trump’s nearest rival,” Welker said. “Trump leads him by more than 20 points in Iowa, for example, our latest polling there, but I think that these candidates are going to want to get into it with each other on policy issues from the economy to the war in Ukraine. They have vastly different perspectives.”

Because President Joe Biden narrowly won Wisconsin in 2020, Welker said Republicans are going to push hard in the Badger State.

“So Republicans are going to be fighting incredibly hard to try to win this state, but the fact that the margin was so narrow just showed you how tough it’s going to be for either party to pull off a win here how divided our electorate is right now, quite frankly,” Welker said.

Welker hopes to build on the foundation of Meet the Press when she takes over for Chuck Todd.

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