The sixth Republican debate and the first presidential primary debate of 2016, hosted by Fox Business Network from North Charleston, South Carolina, will air live on 14 January. Seven GOP candidates will appear in the top-tier debate, while only three are set to participate in the earlier undercard debate. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, who was bumped down from the main debate to the undercard debate, said he would boycott the debates altogether.
The main debate will be moderated by anchor and managing editor of Business News Neil Cavuto and anchor and global markets editor Maria Bartiromo. It will include: real estate mogul Donald Trump; Texas Senator Ted Cruz; Florida Senator Marco Rubio; retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; former Florida Governor Jeb Bush; and Ohio Governor John Kasich. In order to qualify for the main debate, candidates had to secure a place in the top six in an average of recent national polls or in the top five in an average of recent Iowa or New Hampshire polls.
Hours before the prime time debate, three candidates will participate in the undercard debate moderated by anchors Trish Regan and Sandra Smith. The undercard debate will include: former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina; former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee; and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. To qualify for the undercard debate, candidates had to receive at least 1% of the vote in one of the recent national polls.
According to Politico, Senator Paul has mounted a renewed effort to get himself back on the main stage after announcing he would boycott the debates when he was bumped down to the undercard debate. A new poll revealed he would have qualified for the prime time debate if the results had not been held for two days before being released.
Fox Business, however, did not appear willing to back down from its decision. "We announced the criteria in December and clearly stated the polling needed to be conducted and released by Monday, January 11th at 6pm EST," a spokesperson told Politico.
When and Where
The undercard debate will begin broadcasting at 6pm EST/11pm GMT. The top tier debate, however, will begin broadcasting at 9pm EST/2am GMT. Fox Business Network said that the debate will "follow a similar format to the network's inaugural debate, focusing on economic, domestic, and international policy issues."
The sixth GOP debate, which is also the first debate of 2016, will be held at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center in North Charleston, South Carolina.
How to Watch
Fox Business Network will host its second Republican debate and will make it available on a number of formats. The undercard and top-tier debates will air live on Fox Business Network and stream online on FoxBusinessNetwork.com. According to CBS News, the debate will be available live on the Fox News app and the Fox News Elections app.
The seventh Republican debate will air on 28 January from the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa on Fox News. This debate will happen just four days before the Iowa caucus on 1 February.
IBTimes UK will be live blogging the debates beginning at 6pm EST/11pm GMT.