Many of the candidates seeking the Republican nomination in the presidential race will be in Milwaukee later tonight, for the latest debate in the 2016 campaign season.
The debate, being aired by Fox Business Network, will take place at the Milwaukee Theater starting at 8 p.m. Just eight candidates will be on stage for the two hour debate, which was only open to those polling above 2.5 percent. The four candidate undercard debate will take place at 7 p.m.
The Republican field continues to see Donald Trump and Ben Carson leading in the polls, which Marquette University Law School poll director Charles Franklin expects to have an impact on how the candidates try to present themselves. “We’ve seen Trump and Carson dominate in the polls, but a little bit of movement from (Marco) Rubio and Ted Cruz, and so it will be interesting to see whether the two of them try to stand out a little be more,” Franklin said.
Governor Scott Walker, who was a candidate before dropping out of the race earlier this fall, does plan to be in the audience for the debate. He spent Monday in Waukesha, where he appeared at a charter school with former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who will be on stage tonight.
With the debate taking place in Milwaukee, Franklin said it’s a sign the Republican Party views the state as a potential battleground next November. He noted the Democratic Party apparently thinks so as well, with its slate of candidates also scheduled to meet in a debate that will take place this February in Wisconsin.
Mike Kemmeter at affiliate WHBY contributed to this report.