GOP debate could make or break candidates

CLEVELAND, Ohio. (WOOD) — Security was tight and there were lots of rules and restrictions as the doors opened for the media ahead of Thursday’s GOP presidential debate in Cleveland.

The heightened security is something that local law enforcement and the FBI have been working on together in preparation for the gathering of 17 potential presidents and next summer’s Republican National Convention, which will also be held in Cleveland.

Ohio is key for Republicans if they want to win the White House so it’s no wonder there is so much focus on a state that hasn’t missed picking the next President of the United States since 1960.

>>Photos: GOP presidential debate roster

As for the candidates themselves, they made a few network appearances throughout the day, but for the most part took a low-profile approach as they prepared for one of the most anticipated debates in recent history.

The candidates who made it in the 9 p.m. debate — from celebrity business mogul Donald Trump to Ohio Gov. John Kasich — hope to show potential voters whey they should be the one to move on next July at the nominating convention.

Ben Carson, a former neurosurgeon who is among the candidates who will debate tonight, told 24 Hour News 8 Political Reporter Rick Albin that he thinks he can be the first Republican presidential candidate to win Michigan since 1988.

“Let me put it this way: I plan to win Michigan,” the Detroit native said, laughing.

Kasich told Albin he felt “good” going into the debate, saying it would “be fun.”

For those in the fray at 5 p.m. there is still a chance to be heard and seen for the first time by many voters.

It’s not so much who will watch the debates, after all on a Thursday night in mid-summer a lot of people aren’t going to devote four hours to watch. But the residual reporting, that quote from a candidate when they throw a blow played time after time, day after day could be a break out moment. There is also that chance of the gaffe heard round the world. Debates like this have been known to end a candidacy before it gets started.

24 Hour News 8’s Rick Albin is in Cleveland for the debate and will have complete coverage throughout the day on 24 Hour News 8 and on

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