Second Presidential Debate To Night 2016

Next GOP Presidential Debate Tomorrow Night


Tomorrow night, CNN will host the second debate between the 2016 Republican presidential candidates. Like the previous one run by Fox News, Wednesday's debate will be divided into a primetime debate at 8 p.m. that is preceded by a 6 p.m. debate with the second-tier candidates. The primetime debate features the top 11 candidates based on CNN's polling average: businessman Donald Trump, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, surgeon Ben Carson, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and businesswoman Carly Fiorina (who did not appear in the Fox News primetime debate). (, Sept. 12, 2015) The "undercard" debate includes: Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, former New York Gov. George Pataki, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. (Id.) Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore — who appeared in the Fox News undercard debate — did not qualify for the CNN debate because of low polling. (Id.)

During the Fox News debate, several candidates were asked immigration questions in the first hour but then the issue was not brought up later. (See FAIR Legislative Update, Aug. 11, 2015) With recent polls showing that voters view immigration as one of the top issues of 2016, FAIR hopes that CNN's moderators will devote more time to questioning all candidates on their immigration positions. Indeed, a new Rasmussen poll found that 80 percent of registered voters view illegal immigration as a serious problem. (Rasmussen Reports, Sept. 1, 2015) Additionally, the latest Gallup poll shows that 20 percent of registered voters will only vote for a candidate whose immigration position aligns with theirs while 60 percent said it is one of many "important considerations." (Gallup Poll, Sept. 9, 2015)

The debate can be viewed on CNN or streamed at

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