The ninth Republican primary debate will take place on Saturday, February 13, at 9 p.m. ET on CBS. Face the Nation’s John Dickerson will moderate, alongside CBS News correspondent Major Garrett and Wall Street Journal columnist Kimberley Strassel. Follow along with New Republic Minutes for live updates, stories, and analysis.
All six remaining candidates will participate: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, and John Kasich. Trump currently leads the field in South Carolina, where he is 17 percentage points ahead of Ted Cruz, and is coming off a strong win in New Hampshire.
The debate will take place at Greenville’s Peace Center. The state’s primary, the “first-in-the-South” contest with a history of dirty tricks, follows a week later on February 20. You can expect to hear the candidates reaching out to key Republican voting blocs in the state, including evangelicals, affluent moderates in the low country, and veterans. Trump and Cruz in particular are duking it out for that sweet evangelical vote.
Here’s what New Republic writers have posted about the leading candidates since the last debate:
Iowa turned out not to be Trump’s kryptonite, observed Jeet Heer. His dominance in the New Hampshire primary dealt a crippling blow to the GOP establishment, wrote Brian Beutler. From Elspeth Reeve, here are seven sentences that explain American politics better than one from Trump. She also notes that he’s finally happy, now that he has some friends.
Cruz’s third-place finish in New Hampshire was seen as a success, noted Alex Shephard. The Everybody Hate Ted club got a new member this week: Mark Cuban. He’s the subject of numerous attack ads in South Carolina, noted Laura Reston. She also explained why he’s started retelling the story of his sister’s battle with drug addiction, as he did in the last debate.
Rubio got owned in the last debate and in the New Hampshire primary. Honestly, he sounded more like a robot than a human. He’s now stuck in the middle of a very crowded pack. On his new podcast Primary Concerns, Beutler wondered whether Rubio will have a political future after this election. Also, he cracked his tooth on Twix.
In other news...
Since the New Hampshire primary, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, and Jim Gilmore suspended their campaigns. Kasich came in second in that primary, by the way. Michael Bloomberg might run as an independent. And Vladimir Putin is the official shadow candidate of the 2016 race.