The four remaining candidates in the 2016 GOP presidential primary race will take the stage Thursday night at the University of Miami for another debate, just days before Florida voters are set to head to the polls. The event, sponsored by CNN, Salem Media Group and the Washington Times, starts at 8:30 p.m. EST, and you can watch it on CNN, hear it on Salem radio, or follow the live stream here.
The debate comes after votes in four states Tuesday saw real estate tycoon Donald Trump maintain his strong lead ahead of GOP rivals Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, all expected to participate. The event will be moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper, with Dana Bash, CNN’s chief political correspondent; Salem talk radio host Hugh Hewitt; and Stephen Dinan, Washington Times political correspondent, asking additional questions.
The Republican debates this election season have been full of surprises and drama, with the candidates often going aggressively at one another with comical or deeply personal jabs. Trump has been known to take down his rivals on the stage, but in recent debates, Rubio and Cruz have stepped up their attacks against the front-runner. Rubio has recently expressed regret over going after Trump with personal attacks, saying his kids were embarrassed to see his comments. And Kasich has mostly stayed out of the fray.
Defying predictions that Trump’s popularity would ultimately wane, it has persisted though the primaries, much to the dismay of the GOP establishment. Cruz has come forward as his only major contender for the nomination, with Rubio and Kasich trailing behind. Winning the primary in his home state, Florida, is seen as crucial for Rubio’s struggling campaign.
On the Democratic side of the race, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continues to hold a comfortable lead in delegates. But she's fighting for every vote, she says, as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has won a number of key states, including a poll-defying win in Michigan on Tuesday, offering his campaign a significant boost.