Here Is Tonight's GOP Debate Lineup

GOP debate lineup
2016 GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign event in New Hampshire on June 16, 2015.

The GOP debate lineup in tonight's CNN debate - the second Republican primary debate of 2015 - features 15 candidates.

This will mark the second clash between the hotly contested GOP field in 2015. Similar to the first debate on FOX News on Aug. 6, there will be two separate debates. One "undercard," or "kids' table," debate will be held at 6 p.m. ET and finish at 7:45 p.m. The "prime-time" battle will begin at 8 p.m. ET.

Which candidates made the prime-time debate was a matter of poll data. Any candidate who ranked in the top 10 between Aug. 6 and Sept. 10 made the cut, according to CNN. Also allowed in the main show were candidates who scored in the top 10 averages of all approved national polls between July 16 and Sept. 10 (this was CNN's original criteria released in May). That's why it was possible that more than 10 candidates could end up in the main event; and indeed, Carly Fiorina surged in the polls after the first GOP debate, ultimately capturing high enough numbers to gain entrance to become the 11th candidate.

Let's take a look at the GOP debate lineups tonight...

GOP Debate Lineup for Prime Time

The "prime-time" CNN debate kicks off at 8 p.m. ET. It features the 11 top candidates:

  • Donald Trump
  • Ben Carson
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
  • Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
  • Ohio Gov. John Kasich
  • New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
  • Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
  • U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-TX
  • U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-KY
  • U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-FL

GOP Debate Lineup for the "Kids' Table"

An "undercard" debate will be held at 6 p.m. ET. It includes four candidates who failed to reach the top 10 in the polls but did meet CNN's criteria for an average of 1% support in any three polls released between July 16 and Sept. 10:

  • Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-PA
  • Former New York Gov. George Pataki
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
  • U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC

Expect millions of Americans to tune in and watch both these GOP debate lineups tonight. FOX News' Aug. 6 clash was the highest-rated primary debate in television history, drawing more than 24 million viewers.

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