Thanks to a late Fox News poll out on Sunday showing Rand Paul with five percent support in Iowa, the Kentucky Senator will make the cut-off for the primetime GOP debate stage on Tuesday, December 15. CNN has now confirmed the lineups for the primetime debate and the earlier undercard debate based on a polling window which ended on December 13.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
CNN Republican Debate in Las Vegas
Live Stream: CNN.com
Moderator: Wolf Blitzer
8:30pm ET (7:30pm CT, 5:30pm PT)
Candidates: Trump, Carson, Rubio, Cruz, Bush, Kasich, Christie, Fiorina, Paul
6pm ET (5pm CT, 3pm PT)
Candidates: Huckabee, Santorum, Graham, Pataki
Report from CNN:
Nine candidates will appear in prime-time Tuesday night for the final Republican presidential primary debate of 2015, a critical event that will help shape the contest heading into the Iowa caucuses.
Businessman Donald Trump, the front-runner for the nomination, will again be center stage flanked by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson on his right and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz on his left, CNN announced Sunday. The six remaining participants in the prime-time contest will be Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Four candidates — former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and former New York Gov. George Pataki — will appear in the first debate on Tuesday evening.
CNN considered live interviewer national and state surveys by ABC News, Bloomberg News, CBS News, CNN, Fox News, Gallup, Marist University, McClatchy News Service, Monmouth News Service, NBC News, The New York Times, Pew Research Center, Quinnipiac University, Time, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Des Moines Register, the University of New Hampshire, WBUR and WMUR.
The debate will be moderated by Wolf Blitzer, with CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash joining Salem Radio Network talk show host Hugh Hewitt as questioners.
Rand Paul was in danger of falling to the earlier debate, though some have argued that position would have given him a greater presence and ability to convey his message than being on stage with 8 other candidates. As it goes, Paul will fill out the primetime event once again.
A larger field in primetime is probably good news for the front runners since it provides less time for them to be quizzed on policy or risk making gaffes which their opponents can capitalize on.