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With Perry In Mix, Tonight's GOP Debate Is Highly Anticipated

Our friend Frank James over at It's All Politics will be watching the action, but we do want to at least take note of tonight's Republican presidential debate and pass along the coordinates in case you want to check it out.

A key story line, according to the conventional wisdom: How will the new "front runner," Texas Gov. Rick Perry, do in his first appearance with the other seven?

Perry, according to the First Reading blog from Austin's American-Statesman, is sticking with his plan to be there even though he canceled some other recent campaign-related events to oversee the response to devastating wildfires in his state.

First Reading adds that based on his past performances during gubernatorial debates, "Perry usually avoids major mistakes in debates and he usually has statistics and numbers at the ready in order to keep the conversation moving. But he can be caught off guard and he can get defensive quickly, at which point he's prone to suggest opponents are trying to tear down Texas."

Who else will be there?

-- Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN).

-- Businessman Herman Cain.

-- Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.

-- Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman.

-- Rep. Ron Paul (R-TX).

-- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

-- Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

When and how to watch: The debate is set to go on the air and the Web at 8 p.m. ET. It's being broadcast and webcast by MSNBC. Because it's being held at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, the official Twitter hashtag is #reagandebate.

And, as we said, check It's All Politics as well.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.