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Thursday, January 28, 2016
4 Days until the Iowa Caucuses
285 Days Until Election Day 2016 I'm Gabe Fleisher for Wake Up To Politics, and reporting from WUTP world HQ in my bedroom - Good morning: THIS IS YOUR WAKE UP CALL!!!
To send me questions, comments, tips, new subscribers, and more: email me at email@example.com. To learn more about WUTP and subscribe, visit the site: wakeuptopolitics.com, or like me on Twitter and Facebook. More ways to engage with WUTP at the bottom. #WUTPDebate: Dispatches from Des Moines
- DES MOINES – Good afternoon from the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, the site of tonight’s Republican debate. I am here as a credentialed member of the media, and am writing this from the Press Filing Center. Later, after the debate, I’ll be in the Spin Room, questioning candidates and their surrogates, and live-tweeting my activities with #WUTPDebate. But first: I wanted to send some short background on the debate – where it is, who will be there, who won’t be there (hint, hint), and more…
- This is the sixth Republican debate of the 2016 cycle – and the first of the year 2016 – as well as the second hosted by Fox News, and the final contest before actual voting begins with the caucuses here in Iowa on Monday.
- WHEN is the debate? Just as with the past five GOP debates, there will be two events today: an undercard debate at 6pm Central Time (7pm Eastern, 5pm Mountain, 4pm Pacific) and the primetime debate at 8pm Central Time (9pm Eastern, 7pm Mountain, 6pm Pacific).
- WHO will on the debate stage? The candidates invited to the main debate had to place in the top six nationally (in an average of Fox-recognized polls), or in the top five in Iowa or New Hampshire (according to an average of Fox-recognized state polls).
- The contenders who fit the bill (in order of their polling) are: businessman Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
- Four candidates qualified for the earlier debate, by receiving at least 1% in one of the five most recent national Fox-recognized polls: businesswoman Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, and former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore.
- This is only Gilmore’s second time on a debate stage this cycle.
- Of course, frontrunner Donald Trump will not be attending tonight’s debate. He has been publicly at war with Fox News since the network’s August debate, when he protested the pointed questions he received from the moderators. In recent weeks, he has attempted to have Fox’s Megyn Kelly replaced as moderator, calling her a “lightweight” and “third-rate reporter” and accusing her of bias against him.
- When a Fox spokesman responded with a sarcastic statement (writing, “We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president”), Trump’s campaign announced that he would not participate in the debate – instead holding his own Des Moines event at Drake University benefiting veterans.Joining the candidates (sans Trump) on the stage will be moderators Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly, and Chris Wallace, all Fox anchors.
- WHERE is the debate? Both the undercard and primetime events will be held in the Wells Fargo Arena here at the Iowa Events Center.
- WHAT are the stakes? This is the final debate before Iowans caucus Monday, so the stakes are enormous for all the candidates. Tonight’s debate is their chance to frame their final pitch to Iowa voters, and the nation, before voting begins.
- Many will be watching to see how hard each candidate (especially likely Iowa runner-up Ted Cruz) goes after Trump – the elephant not in the room – for his absence, and for their attacks on President Barack Obama and the Democratic presidential candidates.
- This will also be a pivotal debate for many of the establishment candidates – Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, John Kasich, and Chris Christie – to try and overcome conservative candidates such as Trump and Cruz, and for Dr. Ben Carson, an evangelical figure slipping in the polls.
- HOW can you watch? The debate will be broadcast on Fox New Channel, and livestreamed for free on FOXNews.com, as well as on FOX News Radio. Another way to interact with the debate: via Google, a partner for tonight’s debate.
- A Google search for “Fox News debate” will yield text, photos, and videos from the campaigns – responses to the debate as it is happening. A Google presence will also be feld at the debate itself, with Google Trends being used by the modearting and questions provided by YouTube creators.
- PHOTOS Finally, here are some photos from the ground in Des Moines:
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For more on Wake Up To Politics, listen to Gabe on NPR's "Talk of the Nation, the Political Junkie podcast, and St. Louis Public Radio; watch Gabe on MSNBC's "Up with Steve Kornacki, and read about Gabe in Politico, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Globe, and the St. Louis Jewish Light