Who Will The Next GOP Debate Feature? Some Forum Candidates Could Move Up To The Primetime

In a little over a month, the next GOP presidential debate will take place at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. This time, CNN will be hosting the event along with the Reagan Foundation, and though it's unclear whether there will be a pre-debate forum as there was with the first debate, candidates surely have their sights set on making it into the GOP top 10. Who will be in the next GOP debate? It certainly looks as if the first debate on Thursday is a good indication of who will once again make the cut.

Early Nielsen numbers show that Thursday's debate shattered previous viewership records, with 24 million people tuning in to watch the top ten GOP candidates. In contrast, the pre-debate forum featuring the latter seven presidential candidates was remarkable in even its lack of physical attendance, a fact that was frequently commented on via social media. There is a high likelihood that the top 10 candidates in the first debate will make repeat appearances come the Sept. 16 debate. Based on Time's PlayBuzz poll of which candidate "won" the debate, Donald Trump is the clear favorite with 47 percent of the votes. Following Trump, there is a substantial drop off for second place. Both Ben Carson and Marco Rubio are polling with 11 percent as of this writing.

Scott Olson/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Based off numbers from a One America News Network poll following the debate and posing the same question, Trump, Carson, and Rubio all placed within the top three. The remaining seven candidates that make up the top 10 are polling at such close numbers that it's anyone's guess who will be chosen to appear at the Reagan Library debate.

Though the live attendance may not have been impressive for the pre-debate forum, some of the "on the cusp" candidates like Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Carly Fiorina appeared to have made a positive mark on the hour-long program. The Associated Press' key takeaways from the forum had Perry performing as "confident and well-rehearsed," while Fiorina was "an outsider prepared to take on the status quo."

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images News/Getty Images

If Perry and Fiorina were to ascend to the top 10, they would most likely replace Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who spoke for less than five minutes during the GOP debate — the least amount of time for any candidate and certainly not enough to make a substantial mark. Likewise, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie just barely made it into the GOP debate but showed lackluster numbers on both Time and OAN's polls, thus he might not make it into September's debate. It was Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich who barely squeaked by into the last two spots, and with Fiorina's surge in popularity after the forum, don't be surprised if she makes it in next time.