Everything you need to know about the next GOP debate
When is the next Republican presidential debate?
The next Republican presidential debate will be Thursday, Jan. 14, live from the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in South Carolina. Fox Business Network is returning as a debate host.
The location is compelling for a number of reasons: it stands briefly off the radar of primary voters glued to Iowa and New Hampshire; it represents what could be Marco Rubio’s best chance to claim the mantle of the GOP’s best “establishment” candidate; and it’s a test case for how rapidly changing demographics are altering the electoral makeup in 2016.
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What time is the debate and how will it be formatted? The primetime debate is at 9 p.m. EST. FBN says it will “follow a similar format to the network’s inaugural debate, focusing on economic, domestic, and international policy issues.”
How can I watch the debate? The two debates--the main debate at 9 p.m. EST and the undercard debate at 6 p.m. --will be streamed for free on www.foxbusiness.com, in addition to the cable broadcast on Fox Business Network.
Who will moderate the debate? Several of the moderators from the first Fox Business Network debates will return to Thursday’s debates: Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo for the main debate and Trish Regan and Sandra Smith for the happy-hour debate. A self-deprecating Cavuto told the Palm Beach Post recently that he’s aiming to be “invisible” at the debate: “If I come across looking as the jerk — which isn’t that hard for me to do — then so be it,” he added.
Who will participate in the primetime debate? The main stage field looks different yet again: Carly Fiorina and Rand Paul failed to meet the polling requirements for the main debate and were relegated to the undercard session. Paul has already said he refuses to debate the lower-polling candidates. The 9 p.m. assembly features Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, and Chris Christie, while the undercard features Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, and Rick Santorum.
How did candidates qualify for the debates? Fox Business Network laid out a detailed explanation of qualifications centered on national and primary state polling. Main stage candidates had to finish in the top six in an average of five recent national polls, or in the top five in an average of five recent Iowa or New Hampshire polls. FBN used live interview polling from “non-partisan, nationally-recognized organizations using standard methodological techniques.” Fiorina, Paul, Santorum, and Huckabee qualified for the 6 p.m. debate by receiving at least 1 percent of the vote in one of the recent national polls.
Where will the candidates stand on stage? The two Shiny Object candidates will stand at the center, likely positioned to face off over recent birtherism charges. Trump has also recently argued that Cruz has pirated his ideas. Expect just as much argument among the other main stage participants angling for time: Carson and Bush to Cruz’s left, with Rubio, Christie, and Kasich to Trump’s right.
When is the next Republican debate? The hugely consequential seventh Republican debate is the last chance for candidates to make their pitches before primary voting begins. It’s scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 28 in Des Moines, where residents will be caucusing three days later. Fox News is hosting, with Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly, and Bret Baier returning as moderators.
When is the next Democratic debate? The Democrats are also debating in Charleston this week. Their three-person wrangle will happen on Sunday, hosted by NBC News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and moderated by Lester Holt.