Now that we’re past the Labor Day hurdle, the next Republican debate is coming up in just eight short days on September 16, 2015. The debate will be aired on CNN and hosted by the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California. Jake Tapper is set to moderate with questions also coming from conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt and CNN’s Dana Bash.


Here is the schedule for September 16 on CNN:

6pm ET (5pm CT, 3pm PT)
First Round debate (1hr 45 min)
Candidates: Perry, Santorum, Jindal, Pataki, Graham (finalized Sept. 10)

8pm ET (7pm CT, 5pm PT)
Primetime debate (3 hours)
Candidates: Trump, Bush, Walker, Huckabee, Carson, Cruz, Rubio, Paul, Christie, Kasich, Fiorina

Moderator: Jake Tapper, with questions from Hugh Hewitt and Dana Bash

Live Stream:

Report from the Sacramento Bee:

Hosting 16 presidential hopefuls for a nationally televised debate takes time, construction and, yes, an element of theater.

Just ask John Heubusch, executive director of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, which sustains the library that celebrates the late president’s legacy. As the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley prepares to host its fourth presidential debate on Sept. 16, the second on Republicans’ road to finding their 2016 nominee, perhaps no challenge is greater than constructing the debate stage.

“It’s a three-month job that takes place in 10 days,” Heubusch said. CNN, which will air the debate, picks up most of the cost associated with staging, he said.

This time around, the work includes installing scaffolding for a debate stage on the third floor of the Air Force One Pavilion, which houses the 40th president’s plane. The plane will serve as backdrop.

In devising the stage, the aim is to make the debate atmosphere “colorful, interesting and, where possible, unique,” Heubusch said. “A lot of debate is theater.”

Much like the first debate, the Sept. 16 event will include two groups. The top 10 candidates, according to public polling, will face off in prime time. The remaining six candidates, who must meet the minimum threshold of 1 percent in the polls, will begin in the late afternoon.

We will get a final confirmation of which candidates will make the primetime broadcast but the list above are probably 99% accurate to what the final rosters will be. The notable movement is Carly Fiorina from the early debate into the primetime debate after CNN amended their rules to also include candidates who poll in the top ten of polls taken after the first Republican debate on August 6.

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Nate Ashworth is the Founder and Senior Editor of Election Central. He's been blogging elections and politics for almost a decade. He started covering the 2008 Presidential Election which turned into a full-time political blog in 2012 and 2016.

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