5 things to watch for at the third Republican presidential debate

The third Republican presidential debate between the top 10 candidates — Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie and John Kasich — is 7 p.m. Wednesday at the University of Colorado in Boulder. It will run two hours and will be broadcast on CNBC. The theme is “your money, your vote.” Five things to keep an eye on:

University of Colorado facilities management employee Jon Klarich puts up banners outside the Coors Events Center, the venue for the Oct. 28 Republican presidential debate, at CU Boulder, Colo., Monday Oct. 26, 2015. Republican presidential candidates taking the debate stage are hoping to carry momentum from a 2014 U.S. Senate victory in this toss-up state where independent voters outnumber the electorate from both major parties. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

University of Colorado facilities management employee Jon Klarich puts up banners outside the Coors Events Center, the venue for the Oct. 28 Republican presidential debate, at CU Boulder, Colo., Monday Oct. 26, 2015. AP Photo/Brennan Linsley

1. Trump’s two-front war: This thing’s getting serious, and Trump can be expected to continue to goad Bush with belittlement and cast doubt on Carson.

2. Jeb! Game or lame?: The debate follows Bush slashing staff and talking about other “really cool things” he could be doing. Will he appear up to the fight or headed out the door?

3. Gentle Ben: Carson’s quietude underwhelmed at earlier debates, but did nothing to undermine his steady rise to front-runner status in the latest CBS/New York Times poll. Can he stick to his whisper campaign?

4. In the wings: If Trump and Carson fade, it could become a Cruz-Rubio contest. Look for each to audition for the lead.

5. She’s Carly: She’s had two electric debate performances, but since then Fiorina’s mojo flagged. Can a third spark a resurgence and convince Republicans she’s not really trying out for vice president?

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