On the heels of the Univision Democratic debate, which also took place in Florida, the four remaining Republican contenders will participate in a debate tonight sponsored by CNN broadcasting from the University of Miami. The debate will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper.
Thursday, March 10, 2016
CNN Republican Debate
8:30pm ET (7:30pm CT, 6:30pm MT, 5:30pm PT)
Live Stream: CNN.com
Aired On: CNN
Location: University of Miami in Miami, Florida
Sponsors: CNN, The Washington Times, Salem Media Group
Moderator: Jake Tapper
Candidates: Trump, Cruz, Rubio, Kasich
Report from CNN:
Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Marco Rubio will face off at CNN’s presidential debate on Thursday night in a state that could make one of the four men virtually unstoppable — and spell doom for another.
Thursday’s debate here comes just five days ahead of the next week’s “Super Tuesday 3,” when there are more than 350 delegates up for grabs, including in winner-take-all contests in Florida and Ohio.
Both Trump and Rubio are predicting that they will be victorious here in the Sunshine State, and fully aware of how much is riding on Florida. For Trump, a win here would fuel his growing momentum and further grow his delegate lead; for Rubio, losing his home state could be the death knell for his campaign.
Cruz and Kasich will also take the debate stage at a crucial moment in their campaigns. Cruz is aggressively trying to convince the Republican Party to coalesce around him, arguing he is the only candidate other than Trump capable of reaching 1,237 delegates; Kasich, who still has not won a single state, is eying his home state of Ohio with fresh optimism after a new poll this week showed him ahead of Rubio nationally. A Fox News poll released Wednesday showed Kasich leading Trump in Ohio, but the front-runner topping Rubio in Florida.
I expect the same calm tone from John Kasich since that is what has seemingly carried him this far. If he starts getting aggresive, he’ll lose his status as taking the high road.
The question will be whether Marco Rubio takes a similarly aggressive tone as he did last week or whether he pivots back to a positive message focusing on the issues at hand. From all accounts, including the voting that happened on Saturday and Tuesday, his aggressive attacks on Donald Trump fell flat, and may have made him look desperate and possibly cost votes.
I’m expecting Donald Trump to try and strike a more moderate tone as he’s been during the past few days. He’ll respond to attacks, I’m sure, but will he bother actually going on the offense and risking more counter attacks at this point? Polls in Florida show him continuing to hold a 20 point lead.
Ted Cruz will likely take the strategy he did last week which is to keep his attacks focused more on policy differences than of the personal nature.
It’s going to be an interesting night and we’ll have the complete debate video available after it airs.