Donald Trump, the leading Republican contender in the 2016 U.S. presidential race, is skipping the final GOP debate on Thursday before next week's first election contest in the Midwest farm state of Iowa. Meanwhile, former U.S. secretary of state Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders are locked in a tight Democratic presidential nominating contest in Iowa, according to the latest survey.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop, Jan. 27, 2016, in Gilbert, S.C.
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, speaks at a campaign event, Jan. 27, 2016 in West Des Moines, Iowa.
Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) speaks at a campaign rally at Wellman's Pub and Rooftop in West Des Moines, Iowa, Jan. 27, 2016.
Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during a town hall meeting, Jan. 27, 2016, in Davenport, Iowa.