Three Keys to Tonight's Republican Debate

The GOP candidates will take the stage for another debate tonight, hosted by CNBC in Michigan. Termed "Your Money, Your Vote," the debate is supposed to be all about the economy. Will this debate be a game changer? Likely no, but here are three key questions to watch for:

1. Will Cain's sexual harassment allegations come up at the debate? All week, Sharon Bialek's sexual harassment allegations against Herman Cain have made headlines, and Cain has dodged the claims.

After a Lincoln-Douglas-style debate between Cain and Newt Gingrich in Texas on Saturday, a reporter asked Cain to address recent sexual harassment allegations. Cain angrily snapped in response and ordered his staff to send the reporter a copy of journalistic ethics.

On NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday, Jon Huntsman told host David Gregory that Cain should address the allegations "in total." 

At a press conference yesterday, Cain denied all allegations and said he saw Bialek "for the first time" at her press conference yesterday.

Will one of the candidates or the moderator raise the allegations at tonight's debate?

2. Is Rick Perry out of the race? Texas Gov. Rick Perry has openly admitted he hates debates, but the sexual harassment allegations against Cain may swing voters back in Perry's court. Can the governor ride his strong job-creation and economic record in Texas to lead the pack tonight? A lot may depend on the way Perry defends his flat tax plan to voters.

3. Will the candidates deliver a blow to Romney on his auto bailout position? Since this debate is all about the economy, Mitt Romney's auto bailout position will be scrutinized. Some have accused Romney of flip-flopping over the auto bailout issue, and his statements have been ambiguous over whether he supports President Obama's rescue of the auto companies. Will the fellow GOP candidates press him to answer the elusive question of whether or not he would have implemented the bailouts as president?

What else will you be looking for in tonight's GOP debate? Leave a comment and add to the list below.

Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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