The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Photo by Jerrye and Roy Klotz via Wikimedia Commons
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley. Photo by Jerrye and Roy Klotz via Wikimedia Commons

So just what will Donald Trump do in this Republican presidential debate?

Will Dr. Ben Carson do a good job in his new role as one of the campaign leaders?

Will Jeb Bush get back to his status as an expected front-runner?

Anyone interested in politics in America will probably be watching the second of the GOP presidential debates Wednesday evening, and this will be the only debate held in Southern California.

The 11-candidate debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley was expected to get under way in time for prime-time TV on the east coast, but it’ll be in the early evening time slot for the west.

Former Hewlett-Packard Chairman and CEO Carly Fiorina was added to the 10 candidates who participated in the campaign’s first main debate after a rule change late last month to include any candidate who made the top 10 in an average of polls conducted following the Fox News/Facebook debate on Aug. 6.

The post-debate polls were used to determine the order the candidates would appear on the stage in front of the Boeing 707 that Reagan as president used as Air Force One.

Businessman Trump will be at the center of the stage, flanked by retired pediatric neurosurgeon Carson to his right and former Florida Gov. Bush to his left.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will stand to Bush’s left, while Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul will appear to Carson’s right.

CNN “State of the Union” host Jake Tapper, who will moderate the debate, said in an interview on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” on Sunday that “what the team and I have been doing is trying to craft questions that in most cases, pit candidates against the other… on issues where they disagree, whether it’s policy, politics or leadership.”

Tapper said the candidates are “going to want talk to the camera and they’re going to get out their talking points, but I’m going to attempt to get them to address each other and actually debate.”

Tapper said he and producers have been “pouring over questions that have been submitted to CNN via social media.”

“A lot of them are questions that would be really good on a one-on-one (interview), but are not necessarily debate questions, so that’s what we’ve been crafting,” Tapper said.

Tapper promised “to try to enforce the rules — a minute when you are called on, 30 seconds to respond if your name has been mentioned or you’ve been attacked.”

CNN chief political correspondent Dana Bash and radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt will join Tapper in questioning the candidates.

A second debate involving South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former New York Gov. George Pataki and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum will begin at 3 p.m. — on the same stage as the 5 p.m. version — and will also be televised by CNN.

Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore, who participated in the Aug. 6 debate, did not meet the criteria for inclusion in today’s debate.

Candidates were required to average 1 percent support in any three polls released during the two-month window. Of the 14 polls released during that time, Gilmore had 1 percent support in only one poll.

Want to watch Wednesday’s GOP presidential debate surrounded by fellow Republicans?

Republican organizations will conduct viewing parties at seven sites in Los Angeles County for the CNN Reagan Library Debate. The debate itself is at the Reagan LIbrary in Simi Valley in Ventura County.

The Los Angeles County watch parties will be held at:

— 200 E. Rowland St., Covina;

— Diamond Bar Golf Course, 22751 E. Golden Springs Drive, Diamond Bar;

— BeX Underground Bowling Lounge, 706 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster;

— Tamarindo’s, Long Beach Marriott, 4700 Airport Plaza Drive, Long Beach;

— Busby’s, 3110 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica;

— 26037 Huntington Lane, Valencia; and

— Stonehaus Tasting Room, Westlake Village Inn, 32039 Agoura Road, Westlake Village.

—City News Service

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