Thursday night, Fox News will air the last Republican presidential debate before the Iowa caucus. Donald J. Trump, who leads in the polls, has refused to participate and is betting that you won’t watch. (Rumors suggested that Trump will be replaced by a 7-foot-tall CGI carrot and voiced with clips from the Apprentice, but that might not pan out.) Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and Ben Carson will be there in the flesh, as will Rand Paul, who has been promoted from the baby debate. Slate will be providing coverage throughout the evening. You can start with this helpful rundown of what’s at stake for the candidates.
Pundits and politicos, meanwhile, will be trying to understand what it means to hold a debate without the front-runner. Some are even starting to wonder if the rise of Trump and Cruz spells the end of the Republican establishment as we know it. Below are their live tweets, drawn from a list of top accounts curated by Slate. Those who lean left are on the left; those who lean right are on the right. Enjoy the instant spin!