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Five things to watch for in tonight's debate

Fox Business Network will host the sixth Republican debate tonight at 8 p.m., here are five questions we are looking for heading into the GOP showdown. 

What you need to know for tonight's GOP debate

How will the absence of Sen. Rand Paul and Carly Fiorina affect the dynamics?

FOX Business used criteria that cut the main stage down to six candidates. Paul and Fiorina were the losers, and their absence will make for a much different dynamic.

Paul isn’t a lawyer but he does play one well on TV, providing expertise on the bill of rights that seems to be lacking in other GOP hopefuls who boast about being constitutional conservatives. Plus, he’s way behind most other candidates so he doesn’t hesitate to call any of them out, often using sarcasm (which might make for memorable debate moments but isn’t helping with voters).

Fiorina never lets facts get in the way of a good soundbite, so she can sometimes make complicated issues sound like they have super simple solutions. Plus, she’s the only woman. And that has made for some interesting moments.

Will the rise of Sen. Ted Cruz in Iowa polling make him a target of the other candidates and will he have to answer questions about his eligibility to serve since he was born in Canada? 

The Supreme Court has never defined “natural born citizen,” one of the Constitution’s qualifications for president. Cruz was born in Canada, the son of an American mother and a Cuban father. There isn’t any argument about Cruz being a U.S. citizen by virtue of his mother’s citizenship. But is citizenship the same as being natural born?

Is it time to focus on Hillary?

As the field narrows in the Republican Party, will the focus shift from fighting with each other to taking on their possible future rival in Hillary Clinton? 

Donald Trump claimed this week  during an appearance Monday on “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon” that he hasn’t “even started” going after Clinton. Despite that claim, Trump has taken several shot at former President Bill Clinton's infidelity while in office.

The fall of Carson

Perhaps nobody has fallen from grace faster and harder than retired neuro-surgeon Ben Carson. His poll numbers have plummeted, some of his campaign staffers have defected to other candidates and no matter what ridiculous ideas he throws out (investigating Muslimsbanning LGBT service members) he can't seem to steal any of the spotlight back. 

Who's gonna bring up Marco's man boots? 

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Chris Casteel

Chris Casteel began working for The Oklahoman's Norman bureau in 1982 while a student at the University of Oklahoma. Casteel covered the police beat, federal courts and the state Legislature in Oklahoma City. From 1990 through 2016, he was the... Read more ›

Adam Kemp

Adam Kemp is a news and health reporter for The Oklahoman. He grew up in Oklahoma City before attending Oklahoma State University. Read more ›