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Grappling with Trump and abortion losses: Six key takeaways from the Republican debate

On his home turf at the Republican presidential debate in Miami, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis sharpened his case against front-runner Donald Trump and tussled with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley as she looked to build on her momentum.

Five candidates met on stage Wednesday night, just over two months before voting begins: DeSantis, Haley, Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

Absent for the third time was Trump, the former president who is dominating the GOP polls so far — and continued his debate counterprogramming tradition with a rally in nearby Hialeah.

While DeSantis and Haley are competing for second place and a shot at being the main GOP alternative to Trump, the other three are fighting to keep their candidacies alive.

Read the full story on NBCNews.com here.

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