Come to ABC News and Yahoo! at 9 p.m. ET on Saturday to watch the Republican presidential debate in Des Moines, sponsored by ABC News, Yahoo News, WOI-TV, The Des Moines Register and the Iowa GOP. You will be able to provide real-time feedback, and to read and watch live coverage and analysis.
Amy Walter is the political director for ABC News and David Chalian is the Washington bureau chief for Yahoo News. Here is their analysis of what to look for when the candidates take the stage.
David Chalian: With 25 days to go before Iowa Republicans brave the January cold to head to their caucuses and cast the first votes in the 2012 GOP nomination battle, Saturday night’s debate seems particularly well timed to hear the candidates’ closing arguments.
Amy Walter: And ironically these candidates have spent less time in Iowa than we’ve seen from presidential candidates in recent years. So they are here to make the case not just to Iowans—whom they have kind of ignored for the last few months—but to a national Republican electorate still trying to figure out what kind of nominee it wants to face Obama.
So, given the stakes, what should we expect to see from the newest frontrunner, Newt Gingrich?
Chalian: First and foremost, I expect to see an inherent tension within Gingrich on stage. He has had such great success trying to stay above the fray and has made his pledge to promise only positive campaigning. It seems to me that will be in direct conflict with being the frontrunner and the likely target of nearly everyone else on that stage. Watching how he navigates through that tension will be fascinating, don’t you think?