South Carolina will host the first 2012 GOP presidential debate Thursday night.
Republican contenders will include former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Herman Cain, and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson.
Political analysts say whoever wins the Republican primary in South Carolina usually goes on to get the party's nomination.
Nevertheless, some big name presidential hopefuls have chosen to skip the event. High profile no-shows include former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Donald Trump and Rep. Michele Bachman, R-Minn.
The debate will start at 9 p.m. ET and will air live on the Fox News Channel.