GOP Debate: Americans Dream Of Getting Some Actual Answers

Do we really need a "Muslim ban?" And more things Americans are wondering about

Dec 15, 2015 at 5:02 PM ET

It’s been more than a month since the last Republican debate, which seems like an eternity considering all that’s happened since November 10th. In the past five weeks, seven attackers killed 130 people in Paris, a couple fatally shot 14 people in San Bernardino, Donald Trump called for a Muslim ban in America and 195 nations approved a landmark agreement to reduce carbon emissions — so it’s safe to say there will be plenty to talk about when the nine top-polling candidates take the stage in Las Vegas. But prospective constituents have been wringing their hands over these topics long before the debate. And on social media, the questions are already flying.

Here are some of the topics and questions driving the conversation before tonight’s 5th GOP debate:

Terrorism and ISIS

Since the last time the GOP presidential hopefuls debated, more than a month ago, a series of terrorist attacks have gripped the world. One in 4 Republicans now believe terrorism is America’s biggest issue, so expect a slew of questions about the latest string of fatal attacks, both domestically and internationally. With a majority of Americans currently favoring boots on the ground to fight ISIS, American voters have questions.


After the attacks in Paris, more than half of U.S. state governors moved to try to ban Syrian refugees, and the House of Representatives passed a bill last month that would effectively stop any displaced Syrians from entering America, at least temporarily. Since the San Bernardino shooters were both discovered to be Muslim, with one entering the country on a visa, a long list of Islamophobic incidents swept across the country. This will be the first time Donald Trump is scrutinized on a national stage for his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the country.

Gun Control

The San Bernardino shooting claimed 14 lives, making it the deadliest mass shooting incident since 26 were killed in Newtown, Connecticut, three years ago. When Wolf Blitzer questions the candidates on gun control, will they pivot back to their fight against radical Islamic terrorism even though it’s responsible for just 19 of the 11,000 gun deaths in America this year? Or will domestic terrorism become a topic of discussion?

Climate Change

This month’s talks in Paris concluded in a landmark agreement in which 195 countries agreed to make efforts to reduce their carbon emissions. But in accordance with U.S. Senate Republicans, many of whom don’t believe in global warming, the plan had to be split into legally binding and voluntary portions. Will the GOP candidates speak for America’s renewed commitment to battle climate change?