BOULDER, CO - OCTOBER 28: Presidential candidates Jeb Bush (L-R), Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz (R-TX), take the stage at the CNBC Republican Presidential Debate at University of Colorados Coors Events Center October 28, 2015 in Boulder, Colorado. Fourteen Republican presidential candidates are participating in the third set of Republican presidential debates. (Photo : Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
The advantage of having a presidential debate in the same week as a sitting president's State of the Union is that his words as fresh in voters' minds.
President Obama, in his last national address before stepping down next January, broached a wide array of subjects - ranging from immigration reform, gun violence, and climate change - on Tuesday. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley somewhat surprisingly agreed with some of the president's rhetoric in delivering the Republican Party's official response.
Haley specifically, but not by name, cited growing angst towards undocumented immigrants and said certain GOP candidates were adding fuel to the fire.
Thursday's debate is set in Haley's governing state; in North Charleston and minutes from the site of June's mass shooting that left nine churchgoers dead. Given that the sixth Republican debate is on the Fox Business Network, gun control and immigration reform talks is expected to take a back seat to economic issues.
But this debate is special for two reasons. For starters, it marks the first primary without either Rand Paul or Carly Fiorina, both which fell below the polling criteria.
It also marks the first time GOP front-runners Ted Cruz and Donald Trump will meet following the insinuation that Canada-born Cruz isn't eligible to become president. Cruz denounces the claim, much like Haley took a not-so-subtle swipe at Trump's immigration plan.
One can only wonder if Republican candidates will take the opportunity to pile on Trump.
When: Jan. 14, 2016
Where: North Charleston Coliseum and Performing Arts Center, North Charleston, South Carolina
Time: Primetime debate begins at 9 p.m. EST. The first debate starts at 6 p.m. EST.
Television: Fox Business Network
Moderators: First debate: FBN anchors Sandra Smith and Trish Regan; primetime debate: FBN Managing Editor Neil Cavuto, Global Markets Editor Maria Bartiromo
Live stream: FoxBusiness.com (no cable subscription required), Fox Business app
First debate participants: Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, Rand Paul (elected not to attend)
Main debate participants: Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, John Kasich, Chris Christie