The next GOP presidential debate is set for Saturday, February 13 in Greenville, South Carolina. The debate will air on CBS and likely feature either a five- or six-candidate field.
Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Jeb Bush have already qualified by virtue of their finishes in the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. Ben Carson has a chance to qualify because of his standing in national and South Carolina polling averages. (To qualify, candidates must meet one of the following criteria: A top 5 finish in the New Hampshire primary; a top 3 finish in the Iowa caucus; or a top 5 spot in an average of national and South Carolina polls conducted between January 15 and February 12.)
Chris Christie made plenty of headlines for his exchange with Rubio in last week’s debate in New Hampshire. And while the exchange may have cost Rubio a top-tier finish in New Hampshire, it doesn’t appear to have done much good for Christie. The New Jersey governor finished a dismal sixth place in New Hampshire.
Even if Christie is still in the race come February 13, it’s unlikely he’ll qualify for the debate. But all signs point to Christie dropping out of the race before then, anyway. Christie told reporters Tuesday night that he was heading back to New Jersey to examine the New Hampshire vote totals rather than heading to South Carolina. That’s usually a sign that a candidate is going to drop out.
Carly Fiorina, who finished seventh place in New Hampshire but has vowed to stay in the race, is unlikely to qualify. Jim Gilmore, who’s still in the race despite receiving less than 1 percent of the vote in both Iowa and New Hampshire, has virtually no shot.
Saturday’s debate will take place at the Peace Center in Greenville, South Carolina. The South Carolina GOP primary takes place a week later, on February 20.
Here’s a look at the remaining GOP debate schedule. (It’s likely the Republican National Committee will add additional debates if multiple viable candidates are still in the race heading into April.)
|Feb. 13||CBS||Greenville, S.C.|
|March (Date TBD)||CNN||Florida (city TBD)|
|March (Date TBD)||Fox News||TBD|