The fight card for the first GOP debate was announced by Fox News on Tuesday night. As far as anyone knows, there will be no body slams, no head butts and, (please, God) no leotards. But the field promises as much drama and overwrought showmanship as any professional wrestling extravaganza.
The 10-person field means that the primary objective for a large percentage of the participants will be to simply get noticed in some way or another. A few of the leaders, with the possible exception of billionaire real estate mogul Donald Trump, may try to avoid getting their hands dirty, but from the opening bell Thursday, most will simply want to stand out in the midst of the melee.
As fight cards go, it's a big one. Here are the contenders, in the order of prominence of their position on the stage, along with the strategies they're likely to employ.
Donald "The Teflon Don" Trump
Trump comes into the debate as the uncontested leader in the polls, which means he'll have a target on his back. The Donald's got a choice to make – he can try to respond to attacks and criticisms in his signature over-the-top style, or he can try looking presidential for a change. His best move will be to stay mostly above the fray, maybe throwing out a few select zingers along the way but otherwise letting attacks slide off him. Key will be not getting sucked into detailed policy questions that, frankly, he probably can't answer.