(NEWSER) – The second Republican debate is tonight and nobody—least of all host network CNN, which describes it as "Round 2 of a heavyweight bout"—is pretending it's going to be anything other than another episode of the Donald Trump Show. CNN is expecting a record audience for the debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., the Los Angeles Times reports, and here are a few reasons why there could be more fireworks than in last month's debate:
- Overcrowding. "We've never had this many candidates on one stage, standing this close together, for so long," and unlike the last debate, "candidates will be standing shoulder-to-shoulder and constantly on camera," writes Mike Allen at Politico, wondering who will be caught "looking awkward/embarrassed/mad while being attacked" and if any of the candidates will physically touch each other.
- Attacks on Trump. The frontrunner says he'll be walking into a "lion's den," Voice of America reports, and while not all of the 10 people sharing a stage with him can be expected to go on the attack, some have probably been practicing anti-Trump lines for weeks. Rand Paul, for one, tells CNN that he plans to go on the offensive and that his pre-debate prep will be going "out shooting target practice in the morning." His target: the tax code.
- Carly Fiorina. She's rising in the polls and moving to the main stage, and a lot of people are expecting a showdown tonight with Trump, who insulted her looks in a recent interview. "This is going to be a defining moment in Carly's career," Fiorina supporter Boris Feldman tells the New York Times. "What's selling tickets to this is the Trump-Carly card," he says. "Trump has a thing about anybody questioning him, but especially a woman."