For Republican presidential hopefuls, the stakes will be high Wednesday when they face-off in the campaign season's second round of debates. The first debate proved that performance can reshape the 2016 election field, as polls in the following weeks saw dramatic changes that reflected the verdicts drawn from the Fox News event. This time around, debate host CNN has invited 11 candidates to the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California, where Carly Fiorina will join the prime-time stage.

The network determined the lineup based on an average of recent polls. Only the top 10 were meant to qualify, but CNN amended the rules slightly to include Fiorina after she saw a boost in support following the Aug. 6 debate.


For many viewers, a big draw will be real estate mogul Donald Trump, whose off-the-cuff speeches on the campaign trail have attracted thousands trying to catch a glimpse of the GOP front-runner. Trump made headlines after the Fox debate for clashing with moderator and Fox News host, Megyn Kelly.

Trump and Fiorina will be joined on the main stage by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Ohio Gov. John Kasich; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker; retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson; former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.

Another, earlier debate will be held before the primetime one for the lower-polling candidates at 6 p.m. South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former New York Gov. George Pataki have all been relegated to the lower-tier debate.

Both debates are scheduled to be moderated by CNN anchor Jake Tapper, with CNN political correspondent Dana Bush and conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt asking additional questions.

Main Debate (with top 11 candidates):

Start Time: 8 p.m. EDT

End Time: 10 p.m. EDT

TV Channel: CNN, CNN International and CNN Español

Radio: Salem Radio Network

Early Debate

Start Time: 6 p.m. EDT

TV Channel: CNN, CNN International and CNN Español

Radio: Salem Radio Network