Political junkies, as well as Donald Trump fans, can watch live online as the Republican presidential candidates face off in their sixth presidential debate Thursday night. It is the first of 2016, and will be a showdown that features just seven of the 10 remaining GOP White House hopefuls on stage — the smallest roster so far. The debate is expected to turn into a one-on-one verbal gun battle between the GOP frontrunner, real estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump, and his closest competitor, Tea Party Texas Senator Ted Cruz.
Trump has shocked the political world and, most of all, the Republican Party establishment, with his wildcat presidential bid that has turned into a campaign juggernaut.
Despite a long series of statements that, under typical political conditions, would be considered campaign-killing gaffes — attacking Senator John McCain, a former prisoner of war as “not a war hero,” and condemning Mexican immigrants as “drug dealers and rapists,” to name just two of many examples — Trump has shown no signs of loosening his vice grip on the eventual Republican presidential nominee.
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In a new national poll sponsored by the Wall Street Journal and NBC News released just hours before the Thursday debate, Trump had more than doubled his lead over Cruz to 13 percentage points, 33 to 20. No other Republican presidential hopeful recorded more than 13 percent in the poll.
The Thursday debate, sponsored by Fox Business Network, is expected to come to a flash point over the issue of whether or not Cruz is eligible to be elected president. As he did to Barack Obama in 2012, Trump has claimed that Cruz is not a “natural born citizen” of the United States, and therefore disqualified from the presidency under the U.S. Constitution.
The difference is, while Obama had clear evidence of his birth inside the U.S., Cruz was indisputably born in Canada — meaning that Trump may actually have a case this time.
To get ready for the January 14 debate, watch Fox Business Network commentators preview that potentially explosive confrontation in the video below.
To find out how to watch the sixth Republican Presidential Debate live online, see the streaming link in the final paragraph of this article. The debate is scheduled to get underway at 9 p.m. Eastern Time at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in North Charleston, South Carolina. That’s 6 p.m. Pacific Time.
The debate will be moderated by Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business Network.
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The Republican “establishment,” meaning the top money donors and political party officials, as well as conventional, longtime GOP politicians, such as current candidate Jeb Bush, have long been thought to be in a panic over the prospect of holding up Donald Trump as their standard bearer in the fall campaign — where he will face either self-proclaimed socialist, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders or, more likely, former U.S. Secretary of State and New York Senator Hillary Clinton.
But the Republican National Committee recently changed its tune, with RNC officials saying on Thursday that they would approve of a Trump nomination, should it come to pass.
The other candidates on stage Thursday night, will be Bush; Florida Senator Marco Rubio; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; neurosurgeon-turned-author Ben Carson; and Ohio Governor John Kasich.
Bush, the former Florida governor, and his onetime-ally-turned-rival Rubio are expected to provide some fireworks of their own, with Bush recently hammering Rubio for what he says is the current Florida senator’s wishy-washy stance on the immigration issue.
Businesswoman Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Governor and Fox News talk show host Mike Huckabee, and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum appeared in the so-called “undercard” debate taking place earlier in the day on the same stage.
Kentucky Senator Rand Paul chose to opt out of the sixth Republican Presidential Debate rather than be relegated to the “undercard” due to his low polling numbers.
To watch the sixth Republican Presidential Debate of the 2016 primary campaign live online for free, with no login credentials required, go to the Fox Business Network site at this link. The Fox Business Network app will also provide access to live streaming of the debate on tablets and mobile devices, as well as TV set-top devices such as the Roku or Amazon Fire.
[Featured Photo By Ethan Miller/Getty Images]