In downtown Miami at what’s normally a centre for the performing arts, preparations are below approach for a chunk of political theatre.
However the man who needs to be the lead act is organising his own show a few miles up the road.
Posters for the third Republican debate have been slapped on each spare inch of the Adrienne Arsht Middle with metallic boundaries marking the perimeter of the constructing.
On Wednesday night native time, 5 of the main Republican candidates vying to be president will take to the stage inside, in a debate which can be relayed to tens of millions of Individuals dwell on NBC.
The problems are prone to vary from the Israel-Hamas battle to the financial system and who can beat Joe Biden subsequent yr.
However the man most certainly to really beat Mr Biden will not be there. As a result of whereas his Republican rivals are going through off, Donald Trump can be having fun with uninterrupted and unchallenged stage time at his personal rally on the opposite facet of city. Simply how he likes it.
Mr Trump does not consider he has to partake in these debates to get the nod from Republican voters and polling suggests, emphatically, he is proper.
His lead has solely grown since he missed the primary, then the second debate. By most estimates, he is now no less than 30 factors away from his closest rivals, Ron DeSantis, the present governor of Florida, and Nikki Hayley, a former governor of South Carolina, who’s positioning herself because the main anti-Trumper within the race.
Republican strategist Ryan Williams is satisfied the debates are a race for second place.
“And a distant second place at that,” he says. “It must be an unexpected occasion, an sickness or an accident or him being hit by a meteor to cease Trump changing into the nominee.”
Being a no present at debates hasn’t diminished the opportunity of Mr Trump’s second coming, nor has the merry-go-round of civil and felony prices in opposition to him.
Solely this week, he was on the witness stand in a New York courtroom in a case wherein it has already been determined he dedicated fraud. Subsequent yr he’ll stand trial accused of committing crimes in opposition to the state. However his assist is deepening and never simply in opposition to Republican rivals.
Polling by the New York Instances and Siena this week reveals Donald Trump forward of President Biden in 5 of six key swing states that Mr Biden received final time spherical.
“If polls confirmed him falling behind it would present a gap for somebody,” mentioned Williams.
“However that polling reveals that these 4 prosecutions will not be solely not harming him with Republican main voters, they are not hurting him with independents both. It dispels any assault one other candidate may make about him being unelectable.”
The controversy is the primary because the Israel-Hamas conflict started and America’s function within the Center East will doubtless be sparred over, too.
Nikki Hayley, who has some momentum after the final debate, helps Israel however believes America ought to solely have a restricted function within the battle.
Ron DeSantis is extra aggressive in his assist, boasting that planes contracted by Florida introduced “hospital provides, drones, physique armour and helmets” to first responders in Israel.
Mr Trump was initially crucial of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu within the wake of the 7 October assaults, saying he was unprepared. He additionally referred to as Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant organisation designated a terrorist group, “sensible”.
However Israel is unlikely to be an enormous figuring out issue within the Primaries.
“Trump has such sturdy file of supporting Israel,” says Williams.
“He was the primary American president to maneuver the embassy to Jerusalem, and he has a historical past of siding with Israel utterly, so it will likely be onerous to pierce his armour on this.”
It’s going to take another political crafty or an sudden occasion, to overtake Mr Trump at this stage. However there’s nonetheless time for these candidates to promote themselves, if any Republican voters on the market are nonetheless listening.
Watch the Republican presidential main debate dwell on Sky Information on Thursday: Tune in from midnight on Sky Information channel 501, Freeview channel 233 or stream on the Sky Information App or YouTube (outdoors the US)