GOP Debate Tonight: What Time & Channel Is it on?

Ted Cruz debate, GOP debate, Republican debate

Ted Cruz, the Iowa winner but struggling in New Hampshire, will get a chance to impress voters in Saturday’s debate. (Getty)

With the focus turned to February 20’s South Carolina primary, the candidates will get one more chance to impress Palmetto State voters in a CBS News debate. While Ted Cruz managed to pull a last-second upset of frontrunner Donald Trump in Iowa, he polled fairly close to Trump in that state, something that’s not true of South Carolinao.

According to RealClearPolitics, Trump leads there by an average of more than 22 points, while Cruz’s rivals, including another surprising Iowa finisher in Marco Rubio, are within striking distance of his second-place spot. New polls for the remaining states haven’t yet measured reaction to Monday’s events, but PredictWise prediction markets and FiveThirtyEight’s projections have shown movement in favor of Trump’s rivals, especially for Rubio.

Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, and John Kasich will appear on the main stage at 9 p.m Eastern. John Dickerson, Major Garrett and Kimberley Strassel will moderate.

Here’s what you need to know:

DATE: February 13, 2016

TIME: 9 p.m. Eastern


MODERATORS: John Dickerson, Major Garrett, Kimberley Strassel

LOCATION: Peace Center, Greenville, South Carolina

LIVESTREAM: Click here for all the livestream details.

DEBATE PREVIEW: The New Hampshire debate is at the midway point between the past Monday’s Iowa caucus and next Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. While Ted Cruz scored a minor upset in winning Iowa over marginal state favorite and national frontrunner Donald Trump, the bigger story was the surprise finish from Marco Rubio, who was expected to finish a distant third but ended the night essentially tied for second in voting and dead-even in delegates with Trump. Rubio had begun to fade into a crowded race for second in New Hampshire, but now solidified his hold and even challenged Trump in some recent polls with his Iowa “victory.” Several other candidates, notably John Kasich and Chris Christie, have staked their entire campaigns on New Hampshire, making this debate a turning point for them.

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

  • Trump and Carson will almost assuredly go after Cruz on his campaign’s assertion that Carson had quit the race, a key factor in the last-minute vote switching that propelled Cruz to the top.
  • Inside and outside the debate halls, “establishment” candidates like Jeb Bush and Christie have attacked Rubio on various points, at times angering their own supporters. With Rubio increasingly seen as the establishment’s last hope to keep out Cruz and Trump, his fellow candidates may target him less often.
  • As mentioned, New Hampshire is the last chance for several candidates who’ve fallen behind in the polls. Expect a lot of requests for more time to talk from candidates trying to impress voters.

GOP Primary & Debate Schedule

Debate Schedule

New Hampshire: February 6, ABC News

South Carolina: February 13, CBS

Texas: February 26, CNN

Location TBD: March 2016, Fox News

Florida: Date TBD, CNN/Salem Radio

Primary Schedule
New Hampshire: February 9

South Carolina: February 20

Nevada: February 23

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