Politics

CNN Republican debate FAQ: Everything you need to know

Republican presidential candidates from left, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee take the stage for the first Republican presidential debate.
Republican presidential candidates from left, Scott Walker, Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee take the stage for the first Republican presidential debate.
Andrew Harnik/AP

The latest Republican debate takes place Wednesday, broadcast by CNN. It's right here in Southern California, at the Air Force One Pavilion at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library. Here's everything you need to know.

When is CNN's Republican debate?

The main CNN Republican debate starts at 5 p.m. Pacific, 8 p.m. Eastern. It will be preceded by an earlier debate with lower-polling candidates at 3 p.m. Pacific, 6 p.m. Eastern.

What do I need to know?

NPR's political team is providing extensive coverage, and KPCC's Mary Plummer is livetweeting from the event.

Can I watch the CNN Republican debate online?

If you don't have access to watch it on CNN, fear not. Organizers are trying something different this time around: they're letting the debate be streamed online, on both desktop and mobile, without requiring you to log in through your cable provider. That includes access through CNN's iPhone and Android apps. The debate is also being broadcast on Salem Communications radio stations, including conservative talk radio station 870 AM in Los Angeles.

The CNN stream will also have ads targeting their new streaming audience, Mashable reports.

Who's going to be debating in the CNN Republican debate?

CNN is putting 11 candidates against one another in their main debate. It's based on an average of 14 polls, combining polling over the last two months while also allowing anyone who made it into the top 10 since the last debate to qualify.

The debaters, in order from highest to lowest poll numbers, will be: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, John Kasich, Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina.

Fiorina was the only candidate who didn't qualify for the last Republican debate to make it onto the stage based on her performance since the last debate.

How can I make this debate more fun?

One of our favorite ways to enjoy a debate is via bingo cards. Here are a few options:

You can also try the Chicago Tribune's bingo card with the most absurd (but potentially newsmaking) bingo squares, or the Sun-Sentinel's based around topics and common phrases from various candidates.

Which candidates will appear in the earlier debate?

Those who qualified for the earlier debate include Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki and Lindsey Graham. Rick Perry had qualified — he was at the top of the second tier group in the polls used by CNN — but he dropped out of the race since the lineup was announced. Also, Jim Gilmore, who qualified for Fox News's lower-tier Republican forum on Aug. 6, failed to make the cut for either debate this time around due to a drop in his poll numbers.