This evening it will be a battle royale live on Fox News from Iowa State University leading up to the Ames Straw Poll this Saturday. Tonight’s debate is sponsored by Fox News, The Republican Party of Iowa and The Washington Examiner.

Time: 9pm EST / 8pm CST on the Fox News Channel

Participants: Mitt Romney, Michele Bachmann, Tim Pawlenty, Ron Paul, Herman Cain, Jon Huntsman, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich

Report from Fox News:

DES MOINES, Iowa – Seven Republican presidential contenders will try to use Thursday’s debate, sponsored by Fox News and the Washington Examiner, in the leadoff caucus state of Iowa to cast themselves as the strongest alternative to one rival: front-runner Mitt Romney.

A Fox News Poll released Wednesday showed that the former Massachusetts Gov. remains Republican primary voters’ preferred candidate.

But all risk being overshadowed by one Republican who won’t be on the stage — Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who has signaled he’s likely to join the field in the coming days and will visit the early nominating states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina this weekend.

Coming off a national day of prayer for America forum last weekend, Perry is acceptable to most socially conservative Republicans worried about family issues such as abortion and birth control.

At least two declared candidates — Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty, both of Minnesota — are hoping for a last-minute boost before an important weekend test vote that could make or break their campaigns.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is looking to make a strong impression in his first debate, while Texas Rep. Ron Paul is out to prove his libertarian ideas are more mainstream than fringe.

Others struggling to gain traction — former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, ex-Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and businessman Herman Cain — are simply seeking to promote their issues and maybe even boost their profiles.

“This is the official opening of the season,” said Republican strategist Terry Holt. “It’s the debut and you better have your best stuff ready. That raises the stakes.”

Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who lost the Republican nomination in 2008, is hoping for a repeat of a June debate in New Hampshire, where he emerged largely unscathed. He enjoys a commanding lead in fundraising and strong poll numbers and wants to protect both by sticking to his message.

More analysis from The Des Moines Register and The Washington Examiner.

We will have the entire debate video posted back here once it completes in case you missed it along with debate analysis.


  1. America needs to realize, Texas has OIL, NO INCOME TAX and the state has always been independent and libertarian minded. We have jobs in spite of our idiot governors, not because of them.

    No Texan with a brain will want Perry as a U.S. president.

    He was a Democrat, Al Gore’s campaign manager in Texas until 1990 when he switched parties.

    This is easily verifiable, google it!

    If you thought Bush and O’bama were idiots, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet. America will be much better off leaving this fool in a place where he can cause less harm.

    He’s totally big government, sound familiar? He tried to sell Texas out from under us by selling a huge toll road 1500 feet wide all the way across TX to a Spanish co. that has mis-managed other toll road projects. We fought him for years before it got put on hold.

    In 2007 He signed an executive order mandating our pre-teen girls must get vaccinated against Human Pappiloma Virus. Turns out his campaign manager and his mother in law have sales positions with Merck, the manufacturer of the vaccine!

    In April 2008, based on info from one hoax phone call from a mentally disturbed woman in Colorado, Perry ordered a swat style raid, complete with flak-jacketed troopers in armored personnel carriers, on the El Dorado, Texas homes of a group of unarmed and peaceful, religious home schoolers called The Fundamentalist Church of Latter Day Saints. 438 children, infants, toddlers, to teenage boys and girls were arrested and taken from their parents for two days of interrogation, then taken back to their parents after it was revealed to have been a prank phone call.

    These are just the stupid things that I can think of off the top of my head, had to search to remember some of the details, I know there is a lot more, I’m working on a list.

  2. Eric,I don’t know who Gary Johnson is,but I have heard 2 people mention his name,and since he is unmentioned by the media,I assume he is a nice sort of fellow,but under the extreme circumstances,and the best candidate I could have dreamed for in my entire life,I’m watching Ron Paul on Fox channel Tonight August 11th.Be there or be misinformed.God bless Texas,from Florida.

  3. On the other hand, Ron Paul is his own bulldog & is always straight to the point & does not dowly with heresay.
    Go Ron Paul!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. For FL debate Sept. 22.
    1. If Hillary C. is Dem. nominee, what willo be your strategy against her?
    2. The public wants Congress and Pres. to “come together
    and solve our problems. Obama’s definition of compromise is, “do exactly what I say amd shut up.” Is there any way to compromise with him?

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