Tonight is debate night for the Republicans who want to be the next President of the United States in Boulder, Colorado hosted by CNBC.
There will be two debates: one for the bottom four wannabes and one for the top 10. The prime time event will kick off at 8 p.m. (Eastern Time). The second tier debate will be three hours earlier.
What can we expect from the contenders tonight?
Hopefully with a them of the economy, there will be substance and discussion of what the 14 still in the race will do to try and create a robust financial future for voters and the nation.
More likely what we are to get is a mud fest with each of the wannabes trying to see who can come out the cleanest and less sullied.
With the sudden rise of Dr. Ben Carson to the lead nationally in the latest poll and besting Donald Trump by growing margins in Iowa, Trump will most likely turn his amazement that he could be in second place into an attempted character assassination of Carson.
If true to form, do not expect much of any consequence on economic policy from Trump.
Carson has put out some information on his economic plan, but it is rather sketchy compared to the more wonkish Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio. Carson will most likely not contribute much in way of hard details and likely not try to deflect the punches being thrown by Trump.
Rubio has been steadily building his momentum, but still far down in the polls compared to the two front runners. Marco will most likely place a platter with more meat than many of the other candidates. But there may be more than most voters can digest and may walk away from the table without finishing the course. Holding his own is Ted Cruz, who continues to slowly build support among Evangelicals.
Cruz is finding it increasingly more difficult to find a voice or a platform in the Senate with his continual blasts at his party’s leadership and other GOP Senators. The Cruz economic plan is simple – cut taxes, cut taxes and filibuster (if given the chance) anything and everything that is not his own idea.
Jeb Bush, growing more frustrated as each day dawns, has a plan and has the chops to present an economic future, but may be too bruised to do more than lick his wounds.
Will Bush be all business or will he more interested in lashing out at Trump and his protege, Rubio?
Mike Huckabee will be Huck. Expect Huckabee to turn every question into an opening to press a social engineering position.
Another candidate who is becoming disgusted with this primary season is John Kasich. Kasich has the experience both in Congress with a good record and as Governor of the pivotal State of Ohio, but cannot seem to get traction.
Will his more centered and moderate views carry any weight in the room?
Carly Fiorina will undoubtedly have answers to the questions with details on how to change the economy over the four years until the next election. But do expect to see Fiorina use any opportunity she can to lambaste Hillary Clinton and point out she is the better woman in the race.
Rand Paul indignation has been showing. Out of step with the rest of the field on America’s role in the world, Paul cannot believe that inheriting the mantle of his father, Dr. Ron Paul, has not inspired the loyalty and enthusiasm of the Liberty Movement to catapult him to number one or two in Iowa. Expect Paul to look more like a petulant child not getting his way tonight.
Chris Christie, an early on favorite, has seen his likeability erode after the Washington Bridge scandal. While Christie will vaunt his policies as Governor in New Jersey, he will likely fail to generate any support or enthusiasm for his candidacy.
The most substance may actually occur in the under card debate between Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum, George Pataki and Bobby Jindal.
For the second time, Jim Gilmore failed to qualify even for the kids’ table.
Each of the bottom tier will without doubt stick to the matter at hand and provide a lot to feast on when it comes to the economy.
Will Graham once more show up the other three as he did in the last debate?
Can Santorum get past the social issues long enough to show he is more than a one-trick pony?
Pataki, a three-term New York Governor, tends to be the most liberal in the race which has made him a no-see with most voters in the Republican primary corral.
Can he translate his experience into a bigger asset than the deficit of where he stands on social issues?
Jindal will try and stand on his record dealing with the economy in Louisiana during his tenure as Governor. But many see that record as less than stellar when it comes to the economic non-turn around in the Pelican State.
From the Cornfield, do not expect to see a World Series performance tonight if you tune into the GOP debate. Expect to see more of a Jerry Springer episode instead.