It’ll be a night of drama: Donald Trump vs. Jeb Bush; everyone else vs. Donald Trump; and probably Donald Trump vs. the moderators. And at the early debate, someone there will just be trying to break out of the minor leagues and get signed to the majors.
But beyond that, every candidate could have something to gain, or something to lose. It’s going to be a dramatic night.
The first Republican presidential debates of the 2016 race are happening Thursday night in Cleveland — there will be a primetime debate featuring the top 10 GOP candidates according to national polls as determined by debate host Fox News, and seven other Republican candidates who will participate in a separate debate airing while most of the country is at work or on the way home.
Here’s what you need to know, and what to expect from the GOP candidates.
Round One: The Minor League Debate
Who: Former Texas governor and speaker of the “oops” moment heard round the world, Perry began wearing glasses as a campaign strategy, referred to the Charleston shooting as an “accident,” and once likened opposition to LGBT rights to Texas governor Sam Houston’s refusal to support or join the Confederacy. Also, he was indicted on two felony counts.
What to expect: He will hopefully remember his talking points this time.
Continue reading: 5 Things You Need To Know About Rick Perry
Who: Former Pennsylvania senator who, despite being sympathetic to creationism “science,” told the Pope (who is a scientist) to leave “science to the scientists.”
What to expect: He likes to play the underdog.
Who: Louisiana governor and Duck Dynasty devotee, who announced his candidacy with an avant-garde short film, Jindal once participated in an exorcism in college, is staunchly opposed to gay marriage, and wants to abolish the Supreme Court.
What to expect: He’ll probably make a big deal about “religious liberty” (read: discrimination).
Continue Reading: 5 Things To Remember About Bobby Jindal
Who: Former Hewlett-Packard CEO who lost an election for a Senate seat in 2010, Fiorina is the only woman in the Republican race, but happens also to be opposed to equal-pay, is big into cybersecurity, and is concerned about men watching porn at work.
Who: South Carolina senator whose gambit for internet stardom was a video of him mutilating his own cellphone, Graham also said Hillary Clinton could not be trusted because her husband lied about an affair.
What to expect: Resentment that he isn’t at the big-boys table.
Who: Uh… one sec. Let’s see here. Former Virginia governor, apparently.
What to expect: People to ask, “Who?”
Copyright 2015 The National Memo