GOP Candidates Prepare for Vegas Debate Showdown

Black Lives Matter and Muslim Lives Matter protestors gather for first debate since Trump proposed American ban of Muslims.
3:25 | 12/16/15

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Transcript for GOP Candidates Prepare for Vegas Debate Showdown
Now, to the race for 2016. It's fight night for the republicans. All eyes on Donald Trump, of course, walking onto that debate stage with his poll Numbers now reaching a new high. The new ABC news/"washington post" poll showing trump with 38% nagtionwide. The polls taken after his proposed ban on muslims coming to America. Next to him tonight, Ted Cruz. ABC's Cecilia Vega in Las Vegas. Reporter: Just how heated is the republican race? Just watch Donald Trump's las Vegas rally. Black lives matter. Muslims matter. Reporter: Trump repeatedly interrupted by protesters. Do I hear some noise over there? Yes, I do. Bye, bye. Reporter: Things taking an ugly turn as security removes them. One man in the crowd shouting a nazi salute. Another saying someone should burn. Light the On fire! Reporter: This dump trump sign torn to bits and thrown in the air. Today, with the debate stage set, trump on the Vegas strip, at his own hotel, tweeting, "Hope I get treated fairly." This is the first debate since he proposed that controversial ban on muslims entering the U.S. Until our country's representatives can figure out what the hell is going on. Reporter: Tonight, will his rivals pounce? Another big question that Ted cruz/donald trump match, with the Texas senator gaining on the billionaire, will the two friends intensify their attacks on one another? We may see a few thoughts coming in our direction and I suppose, in a sense, that's a backhanded complimecompliment. Reporter: On conservative talk radio, rush Limbaugh, already choosing sides. A genuine conservative, even in the republican field, would not go after Cruz this way. So, that's -- that just raised a red flag for me. Reporter: But Cruz and trump, not the only show in town. Marco Rubio today, surveying the debate stage, hoping he can emerge as an establishment alternative. And Cecilia Vega with us live from inside the hall. And Cecilia, as we know, Donald Trump was dominating the headlines with his proposed ban on muslims coming to America. But today, Ben Carson and something he said. Reporter: That's right, he released his plan to defeat Isis. In it, he calls a prominent Muslim civil rights group, the council on american/islamic relations a supporter of terror. Carson left the spin room moments ago, he's still standing by those comments. Seal see Ya, thank you. Let's get right to ABC's chief white house correspondent Jonathan Karl with us here tonight. Let's tell everyone at home where everyone will be standing tonight on that stage. Someone new standing next to Donald Trump. Ted Cruz, right there, neck and neck in Iowa. You told me earlier, Jon, they all face the same challenge when it comes to this proposed ban on muslims and many Americans supporting trump on this. Reporter: Every single one of the kmds on stage besides trump said it's a bad idea. That can't change. But don't look for Ted Cruz to criticize Donald Trump on this. He knolls that the majority of republican voters support the idea and certainly a majority of trump voters support the idea and the whole game is to get trump's support. All right, the delicate dance tonight. Jon Karl watching right here with you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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