You're nearly there, America. The 12 scheduled GOP debates of the 2016 campaign season are almost halfway done. The first Republican debate of 2016 will be held Thursday by host Fox Business Network in North Charleston, South Carolina. It's the sixth debate of the campaign season.
Fox Business Network will stream the debate live for both desktop and mobile devices on FoxBusiness.com, according to a release Monday from the network. Like previous Republican debates, this one is split into two tiers. The prime-time debate was scheduled for 9 p.m. EST and the undercard for 6 p.m. EST. The debate will be held at the North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, with network anchors Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo moderating.
— FOX Business (@FoxBusiness) January 4, 2016
So who's going to be duking it out this time?
The lineup for the primetime debate is businessman Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. The undercard debate was slated to include Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.
Paul, however, has said he would skip the debate. "By any reasonable criteria, Sen. Paul has a top-tier campaign. He will not let the media decide the tiers of this race and will instead take his message directly to the voters of New Hampshire and Iowa," his campaign said in a statement Monday.
The prime-time candidates were picked based on those who placed in the top six of the five most recent national polls recognized by FOX News, or in the top five of the most recent recognized state polls in Iowa or New Hampshire.
The first Republican debate that Fox Business Network hosted, held in November, drew some 13.5 million views, according to the network.