Viewers can watch the final 2015 Republican presidential debate live online and watch what will be the last chance for the Republican candidates to make their pitch before primary voting starts in 2016.
The last GOP debate of 2015 will air Tuesday night with coverage of the main debate starting at 8:30 p.m. on CNN. Though the candidates still have a blitz of appearances and stump speeches to make before the Iowa caucuses, the debate is essentially the last time they will be able to speak before the sum of voters at once; and, just as importantly, the last chance to speak directly to their rivals.
Donald Trump will be at both the figurative and literal center of the debate. The somewhat surprising front-runner for the Republican nomination, Trump’s podium is front and center, flanked by his nearest rivals, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson and Texas Senator Tex Cruz. He will likely be the focal point for the moderators and for opponents, who know they will need to take Trump down a peg in order to open up the race.
The other participants include Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, CNN noted.
Paul was a late addition to the panel. CNN was not planning on including him, but said a Fox News poll released on Sunday saved him.
The evening’s events will also include a second debate, held at 6 p.m., featuring the candidates at the fringe of the race. Those included — former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, former New York Governor George Pataki, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham — are all polling in the low, single digits.
So what time does Tuesday’s Republican debate start? CNN doesn’t seem to want you to know. https://t.co/3Rndb9mSzA
— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) December 14, 2015
6 things to watch at Tuesday’s Republican debate in Las Vegas: https://t.co/hUTiH4STik
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) December 14, 2015
For Donald Trump, the final Republican presidential debate could be the most important moment of his campaign. It will represent the first major test since his controversial call to ban all non-American Muslims from entering the country, a point that will almost assuredly come up from both moderators and Trump’s opponents.
It will also be a chance for the other candidates to stake their place on the issue. Though, it could be a line of attack for Trump’s competitors, they may be wary of coming out too strongly against the proposal, which turned out to be quite popular with GOP voters. Polls have found that two-thirds of likely Republican voters agree with Trump, and his own poll numbers are nearing all-time highs.
Mother Jones offers their commentary.
“A week after proposing to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, Donald Trump has reached new heights in the polls.
“The real estate tycoon has 41 percent nationally in the Republican presidential contest, according to a survey released Monday by Monmouth University—27 points ahead of the rest of the field. Ted Cruz comes in a distant second at 14 percent, followed by Marco Rubio at 10 percent and Ben Carson at 9 percent. No other candidate exceeds 3 percent.”
The poll found that Trump appears to be bullet-proof among Republican voters, with each subsequent scandal doing nothing to bring a dip in his poll numbers.
“It has become abundantly clear that Trump is giving his supporters exactly what they want, even if what he says causes the GOP leadership and many Republican voters to cringe” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute.
Viewers who want to watch the last 2015 Republican presidential debate live online can click here for streaming video from CNN.
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]