Five things to know before tonight’s GOP debate

By Dave Andrusko

fox-businessGOPdebateKudos to POLITICO’s Noah Weiland for a very informative and useful “Everything you need to know about Tuesday’s Republican debate” article.

I will borrow liberally so that our readers will know what to expect tonight in the debate hosted by Fox Business Network, beginning with how to access the debate. “It will air on Fox Business Network and be streamed for free on foxbusiness.com,” Weiland reported.

#1. As before, there will be two debates. The main attraction, beginning at 9 EST, features eight GOP presidential candidates. The so-called undercard, which begins at 7 EST, will feature four candidates. (Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Governor George Pataki have been eliminated from both stages, because of low polling numbers based on the polls Fox Business News used.)

In alphabetic order, the 9 o’clock roster includes former Gov. Jeb Bush, retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, Senator Ted Cruz (Tx.), business executive Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, Sen. Ron Paul (Tx.), Sen. Marco Rubio (Fl.),and billionaire businessman Donald Trump.

At seven, the featured candidates are New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

#2. The debate will last two hours. There are a number of small changes, the intent of which apparently is to give more time for candidates to make their case and for rebuttals when they come under criticism from fellow candidates.

#3. After the disastrous performance by the moderators for the CNBC debate, a big question is who will be tonight’s moderators. There will be three, according to Weiland: “FBN anchors Maria Bartiromo and Neil Cavuto and Wall Street Journal editor-in-chief Gerard Baker.”

#4. The next Republican debate will be December 15 in Las Vegas.

The next Democratic debate is this coming Saturday, November 14, hosted by CBS News, KCCI-TV and the Des Moines Register. It “is the only Iowa-based debate before the Feb. 1 caucuses,” Weiland noted.

#5. While this is not in Weiland’s story, it is in most others. There will obviously be a scramble for time and attention tonight. With only one more GOP debate scheduled for this calendar year, it is more important than ever for a candidate to perform well enough to distinguish himself or herself from a field that still numbers 14.

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