Alabama has lost to Miami, and we're not talking about college football.

The third Republican presidential debate will be held in Florida, the home state of candidate Gov. Ron DeSantis. 

The debate date, expected in early November, and the Miami venue were not announced.

The third debate will not go to the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, as has been rumored for months. Former Govs. Chris Christie (R-N.J.) and Nikki Haley (R-S.C.), also vying for the GOP nod, both had talked about the third debate in Alabama. 

The LSU Tigers versus Alabama Crimson Tide football game on November 4 may have been the impetus for delaying the long-rumored presidential debate in Tuscaloosa, including accommodating the expected 100,000 attendees for the football weekend.   

Sources close to the process now say a fourth GOP debate would likely be in Alabama later this year. 

The Republican National Committee has not confirmed a fourth debate or venue.   

The first GOP debate was held in Milwaukee last month, and the second will be at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., on September 27.

Eight Republican presidential candidates took the stage in the first debate, and thus far, six candidates have qualified for the upcoming debate two.

GOP front-runner former President Donald Trump did not participate in the first debate and did not appear to be signed up for the second. 

Trump met all qualifications for the debates, including poll standing and donors, except signing an agreement to support the Republican nominee in the November 2024 general election.

He holds a sizeable lead in national polls of likely Republican voters, including in Alabama, one of the reddest and "Trumpiest" states.

The selection of Miami for debate three creates an interesting irony. DeSantis will debate on his home turf while trying to reach a national audience, where Trump is not expected to participate.

The debates seem to be shaping up as a showcase to select which candidate can best compete with Trump in the GOP primaries. On the other hand, Trump says he would debate President Joe Biden in the general election.

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