With Donald Trump leading the polls and the delegate count, and several candidates dropping out or on the brink of doing so, South Carolina figures to be a crucial state in the Republican race, and it’s the site of tonight’s CBS debate. While only Trump and Ted Cruz have primary wins, Jeb Bush, 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.
The debate will air at 9 p.m. Eastern from the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina. John Dickerson will be the main moderator, joined by Major Garrett and Kimberley Strassel.
Here’s what you need to know:
DATE: February 13, 2016
TIME: 8 p.m. Eastern
CHANNEL: CBS News
MODERATORS: John Dickerson
LOCATION: Peace Center, Greenville, South Carolina
LIVESTREAM: Click here for all the livestream details.
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 John Kasich a chance to build off momentum from his surprising New Hampshire finish, Marco Rubio a chance to recover from a disappointing finish that killed his post-Iowa surge, and Ben Carson a chance to resuscitate his ailing campaign.
A few issues that may come to the fore in this debate:
- Trump and Cruz have attacked each other on and off the debate stage, with Trump amplifying vulgar Cruz critics at his speeches and Cruz returning fire in fundraising emails. Expect more of the same tonight.
- Rubio had a disastrous performance at the New Hampshire debate that contributed to his fifth-place finish there. He’ll most likely be asked about it, and he’ll need a big recovery to move forward with his campaign.
- Ben Carson skipped New Hampshire to focus on his campaign in South Carolina. Now the last-place candidate on most ballots, he’ll need a strong performance to make it the rest of the way.
GOP Primary & Debate Schedule
Texas: February 26, CNN
Location TBD: March 2016, Fox News
Florida: Date TBD, CNN/Salem Radio
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