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What’s at stake for 2016ers on debate night


(CNN) No one has more on the line in Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate than Jeb Bush.

The former Florida governor with one of the most recognizable names in politics and $100 million in the bank is facing one of the most crucial moments of his political career at the CNN debate held at the Reagan Library.

In the unpredictable GOP race for president, Bush is struggling to regain his footing in the midst of Hurricane Trump. He first tried to ignore the bellicose billionaire before changing course and punching back hard. He has released detailed tax and immigration reform plans to show he is about substance, not style. He has kept a rigorous pace on the campaign trail, squeezing in Monday meetings with tech leaders in Seattle before heading off to Nevada and Michigan post-debate.

The payoff for all that hard work? A steady slide to the middle of the pack that is giving Bush donors the jitters and an opening to rivals like Ben Carson and Ohio Gov. John Kasich to overtake him in key early-voting states.

Here’s a look at some of the hurdles Bush and other GOP presidential contenders face going into debate night.

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