LAS VEGAS (AP) — Republican presidential candidates begin the debate in Las Vegas, where pizza magnate Herman Cain has a chance to convince voters he’s not just the latest fad as he enjoys his new standing atop the polls.
Mitt Romney, who has turned in consistently strong debate performances, remains the candidate to beat.
The backdrop of the debate is Nevada’s 13.4 percent unemployment rate, the country’s highest, and the once fast-growing neighborhoods north of the glittering Las Vegas strip that are now wracked by foreclosures.
Romney and Cain are being joined onstage by five others: Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is skipping this debate.