Saturday night there will be six GOP candidates taking the stage and the stakes could not be higher for a number of the Republican men left in the field. The debate will be telecast on CBS starting at 9 p.m. ET and it can be streamed on CBSN the networks broadband news operation.
Front runner and New Hampshire primary winner Donald Trump, will be standing center stage as he has been for all of the GOP debates. He will be joined by Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Dr. Ben Carson and Ohio Gov. John Kasich have been invited to participate in the debate at the Peace Center in Greenville.
Trump is the leader in the polls here but the second through fourth places are up for grabs. Cruz, Rubio, Bush and Kasich are all in a battle for second place. Cruz has a great ground game and could challenge Trump for the South Carolina primary.
We expect Rubio who was badly hurt in New Hampshire because of his debate performance needs to be on his game tonight. He can’t stumble and Bush, will likely keep the pressure on his old friend, while Cruz will likely try to knock Rubio out once and for all.
Two causalities of the New Hampshire primary were New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina dropped out of the 2016 race earlier this week.
CBS News and Face the Nation anchor John Dickerson will be the debate’s main moderator and will be joined by CBS News White House correspondent Major Garrett and The Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel.
The CBS debate is the final one before the next Saturday’s South Carolina Republican primary on Feb. 20.