No one is entirely certain how this evening's Fox News GOP presidential debate will play out, with one exception: It's a pretty good bet that most eyes will be on Donald Trump, the unlikely leader (by far) in national polls, which places him center stage at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio.
Joining Trump in this evening's prime-time debate are Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Scott Walker. Participating in an earlier debate on the same stage—unofficially dubbed the "happy hour debate"—will be Carly Fiorina, Jim Gilmore, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, Rick Perry and Rick Santorum.
If you don't have a cable subscription, it might prove difficult to watch tonight's proceedings. The debates will also be streamed at FoxNews.com
and on the Fox News app, but they both require a cable subscription login.
Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, one of this evening's moderators, told The New York Times
that she'll adhere to some advice given to her years ago by Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes: hit singles, not home runs.
"We have very tough, pointed questions for these guys, but I am not trying to hit any home runs," said Kelly, who will be joined by Fox News anchors Bret Baier and Chris Wallace. "If we can flesh out some of the issues and some of their character and help the audience have a better feeling for who they are—as men and as candidates—then I've done my job."
Idaho Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter hasn't publicly picked his candidate yet, but Otter did tell a Twin Falls radio talk show
that he would prefer that the next U.S. president be a governor.
Idaho Rep. Mike Simpson agreed, telling this morning's Twin Falls Times-News
, "Executive experience is pretty different from legislative experience."
Simpson didn't have much love for Trump, saying, "I think he burns himself out. He's novel and he's interesting, and he makes all the news because he says things that ... make the news."
Simpson's colleague in the U.S. House, Idaho Rep. Raul Labrador, has already signed on to be Rand Paul's Western States chairman
, providing campaign insight for Idaho, Oregon, Nevada, Washington and Arizona.
Idaho Sens., Mike Crapo and Jim Risch have yet to throw their support to a candidate.
No fewer than 12 GOP presidential debates are expected to come together for the next face-off, set for Sept. 16 in California, followed by debates in Colorado (Oct. 28), Wisconsin (November), Nevada (December), Iowa (January 2016), New Hampshire (February 2016), South Carolina (February 2016), Texas (March 2016) and two more, still to be scheduled.