The next Republican presidential debate is Tuesday night in Las Vegas. The GOP hopefuls will be debating amidst a volatile campaign stretch that has included terrorist attacks in the U.S. as well as abroad and new anxieties have been released amongst voters, while certain candidates have surged to the front in important early voting states.

However, for eight of the nine candidates in the top-tier on stage, their most important task at hand will be how to takeaway support from Donald Trump the party’s front-runner in the race for the nomination.

The debate offers one final opportunity for the complete range of strategies to contain Trump, from the combative tactics taken by John Kasich the Governor of Ohio to the determined conciliatory tone by Texas Senator Ted Cruz, to take hold prior to what will be a short lull by campaigns over the upcoming holidays.

Other feuds that are simmering and ready to explode include the rivalry between Marco Rubio the Florida Senator and Cruz could also be one of the subplots that takes center stage at this debate.

One of the problems for the GOP rivals of Trump is it seems that attacking him has little or no effect on support he is drawing.

It seems the more scrutiny Trump receives the more adamantly those who are supporting him, back him.

Trump is prone as well to take some acerbic swipes at rivals, such as saying Jeb Busch the former governor of Florida is low energy, while mocking the troubled youth that has been self-described by Ben Carson.

The sharp bite of Trump coupled with the fears of Republicans that upsetting Trump could cause him to launch a bid as an independent has dissuaded many rivals from taking the billionaire on in a direct debate.

However, there is an upside to being more aggressive, said one analyst.

The candidate taking him will have a large risk on his hands, but likely will get a large boost as well, said a political science analyst from USC.

The greatest appeal, say many political pundits, is that Trump projects great strength and another candidate with the GOP must display that kind of strength as well, but a different kind than Trump.

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