2016 Presidential Candidate Forum in New Hampshire: What to Expect From GOP Town Hall
Fourteen Republican candidates are expected to participate in Monday night's Voters First Forum in New Hampshire, the first time a majority of the swollen GOP primary field will be together in the same room. The forum, scheduled to air on C-SPAN at 7 p.m. Eastern, is a chance for candidates to woo voters in an early voting state. It comes three days before the first debate of the 2016 presidential election in Cleveland, hosted by Fox News, on Thursday.
"Voters First Forum is a true opportunity for voters to get the first good look at all the Republican candidates for president rather than only seeing some of them in the debate later this week, where participants are chosen by the media," Mike Dennehy, a Republican Party consultant based in New Hampshire, told the Washington Times. "Voters First Forum is a testament to the early state primary and caucus process."
Candidates will be given five minutes to answer questions during Monday's forum. Not all 14 candidates are expected to be there in person. Three candidates (Sens. Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio) said they would remain in Washington, D.C., for a vote on defunding Planned Parenthood but would participate remotely, according to the Washington Post.
The Republican party's frontrunner, Donald Trump, won't be among the candidates taking the stage on Monday, but he's sure to be part of the conversation nonetheless. Trump's high-caliber campaign has drawn huge media coverage, and it's hard to avoid talking about the biggest elephant in the room, even when he's not there.
Here's the lineup for Monday night's GOP forum in New Hampshire.
1. Jeb Bush. Florida's former governor has come in third in national polls.
2. Dr. Ben Carson. Carson is the only African-American in the GOP primary field.
3. Gov. Chris Christie. Christie hasn't been very popular in New Jersey recently, but he hopes Americans will embrace him.
4. Sen. Ted Cruz. Texas' junior senator announced his entry into the race in March via Twitter.
5. Carly Fiorina. She was the first woman to lead a Fortune 500 company as the former CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
6. Sen. Lindsey Graham. The senior senator from South Carolina announced his candidacy in May.
7. Gov. Bobby Jindal. The Louisiana governor is the first Indian-American to run for president.
8. Gov. John Kasich. A newcomer to the race, Ohio's Kasich was one of the few Republican governors who expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare.
9. George Pataki. Pataki served three terms as governor of New York from 1995 to 2006.
10. Sen. Rand Paul. Kentucky's Paul recently submitted a bill to defund Planned Parenthood, a popular move among Senate Republicans.
11. Rick Perry. This is the former Texas governor's second bid for his party's nomination in a presidential race.
12. Sen. Marco Rubio. Falling poll numbers could mean the Florida senator's candidacy has a shorter-than-expected lifespan.
13. Rick Santorum. The former senator from Pennsylvania was the runner-up behind Mitt Romney in 2012 for the Republican presidential nomination.
14. Gov. Scott Walker. Wisconsin's Walker came in second in national polls behind Trump.