The second Republican debate is happening on Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The debate, put on by CNN and the Reagan Presidential Library involved a lot of logistics, in part because the stage is an elevated platform next to the former president's Air Force One.
According to CNN, there are just under 500 seats in the debate hall, 15 semi-trucks in worth of equipment, about 10 miles of cable (not including what the media outlets bring) and over 20 cameras – including two jib cameras suspended over the stage and one commercial camera.
The first debate will have four candidates, and the second debate will have 11 candidates. The order in which the candidates will be standing on the stage – for both debates – was "decided by the of national polls since last debate," according to CNN Washington Bureau Chief Sam Feist. Seven podiums will be added after the second debate, and both will have a similar audience.
CNN does not know if former First Lady Nancy Reagan will be in attendance. She was, however, involved in the process of inviting the candidates, including by hand signing all of the letters.
Many people are expecting a contentious matchup between leading candidate Donald Trump and Carly Fiornia, which comes down to executive vs. executive. Trump leads The Trump Organization, and Fiorina is the former head of Hewlett-Packard. Trump has taken companies into bankruptcy, while Firorina is accused of severly hurting HP, in part due to the merger with Compaq that did not go well.
Dr. Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, has had a dramatic increase in the polls since the first debate, which could be due to his soft-spoken composure. He did come out swinging at the end of it, though, by saying what he has done in the past. None of the other candidates could compete because none of them are neurosurgeons. The big question is whether or not he will continue the strategy of not striking until the end, or whether he will come out swinging from the start.
The duo from Florida – former Gov. Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio – perhaps have the biggest question marks above their heads. Bush has seen his numbers drop dramatically since he announced his candidacy, and his performance in the first debate did not help. Some were critical of his low energy. He has recently took a tougher stance on Trump and his continuous attacks, which means he may be more combative this go around. Rubio is also suffering in the polls.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie comes into the second debate with a smudge on his record because David Samson, his appointment to the Port Authority, has been tied to issues involving United Airlines. It has led to the resignation of three United executives. Samson's agency was responsible for the closing of the George Washington Bridge – Bridgegate.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul was combative in the first debate, and he is likely to be the same way because of how CNN has set it up. The network would rather the candidates debate themselves than the moderator.