5 things to watch during tonight's Republican debate

Ten Republican candidates will go at it during tonight's main debate in Colorado. Several others will take part in an earlier debate starting at 6. Here's a look at some ways you can take part in the debate tonight.

Join the discussion and tune in

Join us on Twitter starting at 6 at @Ohio_Politics for live tweets during the first debate.

Tune in to WHIO Radio AM1290 and News 95.7 starting at 7 for a main debate pre-show with our Washington Insider Jamie Dupree and former presidential candidate Herman Cain.

We'll be back on Twitter at 8 for the main event. If you plan to watch the debate on CNBC, speak out with us on Twitter and take part in our poll, followed by a recap on WHIO Radio at 10.

5 things to watch for during tonight's debates

1) The Trump-Carson fight

This is the first of the Republican debates where Ben Carson has been tied or ahead of Donald Trump in Iowa and national polls. And it's obvious from news coverage this week that The Donald doesn't like to be No. 2 to anyone. Carson didn't factor much in the first two debates, but there is no doubt that he'll be front and center tonight with a target on him.

2) The Establishment Strikes Back

For several polling cycles now outsider candidates like Trump, Carson and Carly Fiorina have accounted for nearly or more than half of the votes and tonight some of the establishment candidates might try to take them on. Ohio Gov. John Kasich said yesterday, "I want you to know that I’m fed up. I’m sick and tired of listening to this nonsense." He took on some comments made by Carson and Trump. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is also likely to go after the front-runners to re-energize his campaign. He recently announced pay cuts to his campaign team.

3) Rubio gets more attention

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio is third or fourth in most national polls and may look to move up tonight. Steve Peoples of the Associated Press says "no one is better positioned to benefit from Bush's struggles than his Florida protege, Marco Rubio." If you look at what's happening in the U.S. House, you might see a similar situation between Rubio and Paul Walker, the next speaker. Both are young, viewed as the future of the party, and tea party members and more conservative voters can stomach them. They may not be their first choice, but they might be the strongest option.

4) Huckabee, Cruz, Paul and Christie look for a way in

Carson's numbers have bruised Trump a bit. That may light a fire under some of the other candidates realizing that the front-runner is vulnerable. Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz are both liked by religious conservatives and may look for ways to stand out. Huckabee had some of the most memorable lines from the first Fox News debate and may look to get some attention. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is currently making news threatening to filibuster the debt-ceiling deal. He could also go after Trump tonight. Christie, considered one of the more liberal of the bunch, might bring out some of that New Jersey toughness to stay in the race. One thing to keep note of is that the Fox Business debate coming up next month is going to require the candidates on stage poll above 2.5 percent. Some of these guys are very close and if they fall below it they won't be on stage for the next one.

5) Can anyone from the second-tier move up?

Carly Fiorina's performance in the first undercard debate in August propelled her in the polls and the main stage for the next two debates. Can any of the others try the same thing? Look for South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, former New York Gov. George Pataki, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum to make another effort to get noticed and gain some traction. Graham in particular has been critical of the Trump and Carson recently. On MSNBC this week Graham said: “On our side, you’ve got the No. 2 guy [saying he] tried to kill someone at 14 and the No. 1 is high energy and crazy as hell.  How am I losing to these people?”


Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Ohio Politics

2 local congressmen may compete to be top Republican on Judiciary Committee
2 local congressmen may compete to be top Republican on Judiciary Committee

Warren County-area Rep. Steve Chabot is one of two remaining Republicans in the House of Representatives who brought the case for impeachment against then–President Bill Clinton 20 years ago. Now, he’s arguing that experience could help him and other Republican fight off Democrats if they move forward on impeaching President Donald Trump...
Beware of shady door-to-door energy sales tactics
Beware of shady door-to-door energy sales tactics

It’s the time of year for door-to-door pitches to get you to switch your energy provider, but consumers need to be wary of shady sales tactics. Norm Krebs of Dayton said he was pressured into an energy contract with a new supplier. Instead of saving money, as he was promised — his bill skyrocketed.  He listened to a pitch from a salesperson...
Report: U.S. military at risk of losing war to Russia, China
Report: U.S. military at risk of losing war to Russia, China

Wright-Patterson Air Force Base may be the difference between victory and defeat if war eventually breaks out between the United States and Russia or China, a defense expert said about a new report out Wednesday. The U.S. is at risk of losing a war to either country, states a report released Wednesday by a bipartisan commission that Congress created...
Ohio Libertarians say they may sue to keep ballot access
Ohio Libertarians say they may sue to keep ballot access

The Libertarian Party of Ohio says it may sue the state to force continued recognition of the minor political party. Secretary of State Jon Husted says the Libertarians and Ohio Green Party lost ballot access because their respective candidates did not get 3 percent of the vote needed to remain a recognized party. Cleveland.com reports the Libertarian...
Pike County murders: Tight-knit community expresses relief over arrests
Pike County murders: Tight-knit community expresses relief over arrests

A husband, wife and their two sons are behind bars Tuesday night, indicted in a mass murder, along with two grandmothers accused of helping them cover up the crimes. At a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Ohio Attorney General and Gov.-elect Mike DeWine announced the arrests and indictments of parents Billy and Angela Wagner and their sons George...
More Stories