BOULDER - And then, there were ten.
That is the number of candidates CNBC will allow onstage during their Republican Presidential Debate. For Boulder, it's a Red Tide in what is usually a solid blue town.
"That might be true for the city of Boulder, but here on campus, we're not supporting one party or another," said Ryan Huff, spokesperson for CU-Boulder.
Huff said the university is trying to minimize the debate's impacts, in the middle of the school year, while also dealing with high security for the event.
"That's certainly one of the challenges – classes will continue, our business operations will continue, we need to keep all of those things happening like they would on a normal day, while they are putting on this high profile event," Huff said.
Inside the Coors Event Center, political science experts said viewers might see lower-polling candidates jockeying for attention and likely focusing attacks on those at the head of the pack, like Donald Trump and Ben Carson.
An average of several national polls shows Trump remains at the top of the candidate list, with about 27-percent of the vote among Republicans. Ben Carson has gained on Trump and now has 22-percent of the support. Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz round out the top five. Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, John Kasich, and Chris Christie all have less than 6-percent of the vote.
"Things are starting to tighten up as we get close to the primaries actually starting," said Anand Sokhey, a CU-Boulder political science professor. "We've been in the invisible primary for some time now, but things are going to get real come January."
That means this could be the last-go round for some candidates. In particular, experts said, it could apply to the four lowest polling candidates who are in their own pre-debate, before the main debate.
"I think this will be the final one because people are getting tired, especially those in the party, are getting tired of having so many candidates, that I think that there will be a move in the party to start to push those people out."
Experts said the debate could also be make or break for candidates, not just when it comes to their polling numbers afterwards, but also what interest they're able to drum up or retain from donors.
(© 2015 KUSA)