The First Republican Debate:

What You Need to Know (and When You Should Drink)

By Julia LaSalvia


The two-hour debate starts at 6:00pm PT and will be aired live on Fox News Channel. It also will be broadcast on, Fox News Radio, and Fox News Mobile.


The way Fox News determined who would get to participate in the debate was somewhat controversial. By limiting the stage to 10 candidates, low-polling Republicans won’t get the same exposure as their high-polling counterparts. With 17 people in the running, some pundits believe the 10-candidate cutoff was arbitrary and will ultimately have massive consequences on who gets the nomination.

To establish the top 10 candidates, Fox News used the latest national polling numbers from the five most recent, well-respected polls of their choosing. While this seems pretty transparent, it wasn’t clear which polls Fox was going to use, causing political analysts to play a guessing game this past week.

On Tuesday the lineup was revealed.

From left to right, top to bottom: Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chis Christie, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Donald Trump, Scott Walker. Source: Uncredited/AP.

Unsurprisingly, current frontrunner and real estate mogul Donald Trump, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker made the cut. The other seven spots were more of a toss-up as the polls have fluctuated with no candidate emerging in a solid fourth place standing. The remaining podiums will belong to Texas Senator Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, New Jersey Governor Chis Christie, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, and lastly, the Ohio Governor who just barely made the event in his home state, John Kasich.

Notable candidates absent from primetime debate are former Texas Governor Rick Perry and former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum. These two along with the other candidates who didn’t get enough support to make the top 10 will participate in a separate, one-hour long forum at 2:00pm PT on Thursday.


Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier from Fox News will be moderating the event. Each of the GOP candidates will have one minute to respond to a question and 30 seconds for their rebuttal. Fox News said they will try to ensure each candidate gets equal time to talk on stage, which would translate to about 10 minutes per debater.


Facebook is hosting the event along with Fox News. The general public is encouraged to send in Facebook posts and videos with questions for the candidates. These posts will be featured throughout the event.


Take a Sip Each Time:

  1. A candidate mentions their faith
  2. Wealthy people are referred to as “job creators”
  3. Emailgate is brought up
  4. A “relevant” Facebook post is displayed on the screen
  5. Trump says “stupid” or “loser”, refers to himself in the third person, or talks about how popular he is (basically waterfall your drink whenever Trump is talking)
  6. A candidate says something about immigration that is actually just racist
  7. Jeb Bush tries to distance himself from his big bro (remember he’s his own man, guyz!!)
  8. You forget who the f@ck Ben Carson and John Kasich are

Finish Your Drink If/When:

  1. Someone says “take America back” or “make America great again”
  2. A candidate promises to shut down or defund Planned Parenthood (hold your birth control close to your heart then finish your drink)
  3. One of the contenders talks about repealing Obamacare (cry a lone teardrop into your cup and then drink it)

Take a Shot If:

  1. Chris Christie forgets this is a debate and starts yelling at someone in a way that frightens you to your very core (remember this?)
  2. Marco Rubio takes a dramatic water break again (see video below); this is also a nice time to remind you that hydration is important
  3. Take a shot of fireball (and facepalm) if global warming is considered to not be a serious threat
  4. Take the person next to you’s shot and do something stereotypically gay if a candidate says something homophobic that receives audience applause. Level of problematic stereotyping should be relative to basicness of statement. Note: Do not do this if you’re actually a homophobic asshole.