GOP Debate Tonight: What Time & Channel Is It On?

Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson, here at a previous debate, will join John Kasich in a CNN debate from Houston, Texas. Getty)

Ted Cruz, Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ben Carson, here at a previous debate, will join John Kasich in a CNN debate from Houston, Texas. (Getty)

The GOP debate Thursday night will take place at 8:30 p.m. Eastern on CNN.

With Donald Trump leading the polls and the delegate count, and several candidates dropping out or on the brink of doing so, Texas and the other Super Tuesday contests are a pivotal moment in the Republican race, and the Lone Star State is the site of the debate.

While only Trump and Ted Cruz have primary wins, John Kasich and Marco Rubio have had strong finishes in one or more states, leaving them with at least a narrow path to the nomination. For Ben Carson, meanwhile, his struggling campaign has one more chance to convince primary voters before he’s out of comeback range.

Here’s what you need to know:

DATE: February 25, 2016

TIME: 8:30 p.m. Eastern


MODERATORS: Wolf Blitzer

LOCATION: Houston, Texas

DEBATE PREVIEW: The South Carolina debate comes one week before the state’s primary on February 20. Donald Trump dominated New Hampshire, and his GOP rivals finished in a crowded field far behind him. Tonight’s debate will offer Cruz and Rubio a chance to blunt the Trump momentum, Kasich an opportunity to recapture the post-New Hampshire surge that fizzled in South Carolina, and may be a last chance for Ben Carson.

A few issues that may come to the fore in this debate:

  • Both Trump and Cruz have been accused of “dirty tricks” by the Rubio campaign, with a Cruz staffer resigning in the wake of a flap about the Bible. This will almost definitely come up.
  • While Donald Trump is well in the lead in delegates both now and in post-Super Tuesday projections, the debate occurs on friendly Cruz turf in Texas. He and Rubio will undoubtedly face questions about stopping the “Trump train.”

GOP Primary & Debate Schedule

Debate Schedule

Location TBD: March 2016, Fox News

Florida: Date TBD, CNN/Salem Radio

Primary Schedule

Super Tuesday (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma,
Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming): March 1

Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine: March 5

Puerto Rico: March 6

Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi: March 8

Guam, Washington, D.C.: March 12

Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio: March 15

Virgin Islands: March 19

American Samoa, Arizona, Utah: March 22

Wisconsin: April 5

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island: April 26

Indiana: May 3

Nebraska, West Virginia: May 10

Oregon: May 17

Washington: May 24

California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota: June 7

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