Eight qualified Republican candidates take the stage for the 2024 presidential debate, with former President Trump notably absent.

 Milwaukee, a pivotal battleground city, hosts the debate and upcoming Republican National Convention.

 Trump declines participation, citing "legendary" polling figures, on social media platform Truth Social.

 CBS News poll shows Trump's lead at 62% despite facing four indictments, setting the tone for the race.

Diverse Republican lineup includes DeSantis, Pence, and more who met the RNC's strict criteria.