The last Republican debate before the Iowa caucuses will air tonight on the Fox News Channel with a primetime broadcast featuring the top candidates, and an earlier undercard broadcast with the remaining field. This debate is not without controversy, however, as Donald Trump has decided to skip the debate due to what he claims is unfair treatment from Fox News and anchor Megyn Kelly. Trump has planned to hold a competing event airing on CNN at the same time as the primetime debate.


Thursday, January 28, 2016
Fox News Republican Debate

Live Stream:
Location: Des Moines, Iowa

Primetime Debate
9pm ET (8pm CT, 7pm MT, 6pm PT)
Moderators: Bret Baier, Megyn Kelly and Chris Wallace
Candidates: Cruz, Rubio, Carson, Bush, Christie, Kasich, Paul

Donald Trump decided not to attend this debate and will instead hold a competing event in Iowa at the same time.

Undercard Debate
7pm ET (6pm CT, 5pm MT, 4pm PT)
Moderators: Martha MacCallum and Bill Hemmer
Candidates: Fiorina, Huckabee, Santorum, Gilmore

Report from CNN:

Donald Trump is skipping Thursday’s GOP debate and going to war with the Fox News Channel.

Instead of attending the debate, “We’ll have an event here in Iowa, with potentially another network, to raise money for wounded warriors,” campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said. “And Fox will go from probably having 24 million viewers to about 2 million.”

The fracas escalated quickly on Tuesday, but was the culmination of months of tension between the GOP frontrunner and the Fox News host Megyn Kelly.

At the end of the day, Fox said Trump “is still welcome” at the debate “and will be treated fairly,” but the network also slammed Trump for “viciously” attacking Kelly and accused Lewandowski of threatening her.

In a statement, a Fox News spokesperson said Lewandowski told a Fox executive last Saturday that Kelly had a “rough couple of days after that last debate” and he “would hate to have her go through that again.”

Try finding analysis of what the rest of the field needs to do in this debate to get ahead in Iowa, you can’t find it. Trump is dominating the entire story line in this debate. Candidates like Ted Cruz are being forced to discuss their reaction to Trump skipping the debate which knocks him off his own message.

Cruz may be fending off challenges from Rubio and others since, from a strategic standpoint, it would better if Trump wins Iowa so Cruz is denied the victory. If a candidate like Rubio or Christie is going to have a shot moving forward, they can’t let the race come down to Cruz versus Trump exclusively. Trump may find some support from the other candidates while Ted Cruz will likely focus all his efforts in portraying Trump as disrespectful to Iowa voters for skipping the debate.

We’ll have the full debate video after it airs.