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How to watch tonight’s 2016 GOP debate online

Here’s how to find the livestream and follow the action online.


Kevin Collier


Wednesday is one of the biggest television events of the 2016 presidential elections: the second Republican presidential debate.

And even more than last time, the Internet’s got you covered, both in terms of access to the debates themselves and more supplemental content than you could want.

Where can I watch the GOP debate?

Watching it live should be extremely easy. If you have cable, you can watch it on CNN. But if not, the network says it will also livestream the event at and on the networks’ apps. Unlike Fox News, which restricted online viewership of the first debate to cable subscribers, CNN says its stream will be open to all.

What time is the GOP debate?

The so-called “kids’ table” debate, featuring a mere four candidates who are trailing in the polls, including Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, begins at 6:00pm ET. The big show, which features 11 candidates, including Ben Caron, Carly Fiorina, and Donald Trump—all surging “outsider” candidates who’ve never held public office—starts at 8:00pm ET. It’s held in at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, a short drive from Los Angeles, and CNN correspondent Jake Tapper and Dana Bash, as well as radio host Hugh Hewitt, will moderate. The debates will focus on foreign relations.

What are the best ways to follow along online?

As for extra content, the Internet’s got that too. A number of people are livetweeting the event, including the Republicans’ competition. Popular Democratic hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) is tweeting from his main campaign account, @berniesanders. His opponent, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a special account dedicated to fact-checking the event at @thebriefing2016.

Even better, the Daily Dot’s politics staff, tweeting from @DotPolitics, will bring GIFs, stories, quotes, and fact-checking to the table. Or, if you’re just curious what the masses are saying, the official hashtag is #GOPdebate.

Want an excuse to get drunk, or maybe just hydrated? Rolling Stone journalist Matt Tiabbi has created one of what presumably will become a glut of drinking games, as was the case the previous debate.

Curious what people too young to vote think? Users who download the Yik Yak app can hit the Peek button tonight and see what millennials are saying.

Or you can always just skip the circus entirely and read about it in the morning. An Honorable Woman is on Netflix, is criminally underwatched, and it’s largely set in Israel and Palestine (a region they’ll probably talk about tonight).

Illustration by Jason Reed

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