Who will hold the winning hand at Vegas GOP debate? 7 things to watch – CNN


Washington (CNN)It’s debate night in Sin City.

Republican presidential candidates are in Las Vegas for their last debate of the year, just seven weeks before the 2016 nominating race gets underway at the Iowa caucuses.

And what unfolds on stage at the Venetian casino will have significant implications for the destiny of the GOP nomination.

Always controversial front-runner Donald Trump is looking to tighten his grip on the lead spot. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, suddenly ahead of Trump in the Hawkeye state, wants to justify the hopes of those who see him as the most authentic conservative in the race. And the GOP establishment is increasingly desperate for someone — perhaps Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — to prove he or she can take on Trump and Cruz.

As for the rest of the pack, they are searching for a lucky break.

Here are seven things to watch at tonight’s showdown.

Read more here.