NY.- As his Republican rivals fight for attention in next week’s fourth GOP debate, Donald J. Trump will once again be absent from the stage.
Instead, Trump, who is the front-runner for president, will attend a fundraiser next Wednesday for his Super PAC, MAGA Inc., in Hallandale Beach, Florida, according to two people familiar with his plans.
The private event is a departure from Trump’s activities during the three previous Republican National Committee debates this year.
Trump also did not attend any of those debates, although he did hold public events to draw attention to his campaign.
He and his advisers cited his commanding lead in the polls in calling on the Republican National Committee to cancel future debates — a suggestion committee members have not accepted.
Trump, who is running in the style of a sitting president, continues to lead his closest rivals by more than 40 percentage points in most national polls.
His absences from previous debates have not affected his support, even though some of his rivals have criticized his absence directly from the stage.
During his first debate in August, Trump touted a taped interview with Tucker Carlson.
In September, he spoke at a non-union Michigan factory during the auto workers union strike.
And this month, he held a rally in Hialeah, Florida, at which he labeled the third debate, which would be less than 15 miles away, as a waste of time.
The fourth debate, to be held in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, next Wednesday, is one of the last opportunities for Republican candidates to gain momentum ahead of early primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire in January.
It is expected that there will be fewer candidates this time, since some who attended the other debates withdrew from the competition and those who remain face more difficult requirements to be present.