Behind the sixth Republican debate with photographer Mark Peterson

  • Reporters wait in the spin room for candidates to arrive at the first Republican Presidential debate of the year in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Members of the press line up in the Google filing room ahead of the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Google Trends appear on a screen ahead of the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Mark Sanford attends the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Carly Fiorina appears on-screen during the Republican Presidential undercard debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Carly Fiorina appears on-screen during the Republican Presidential undercard debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Rick Santorum at the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Rick Santorum speaks to the media at the Republican Presidential debate in North, Charleston, S.C on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Mike Huckabee appears at the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Mike Huckabee at the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Media surrounds Rick Santorum in the spin room after the Republican Presidential undercard debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Ted Cruz appears on-screen in the filing room at the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Donald Trump and Ted Cruz appear on-screen from the filing room at the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Donald Trump and Ted Cruz argue on-screen at the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Spin room escorts hold signs at the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Chris Christie appears on-screen at the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • A debate workers holds up Ted Cruz’s name in the media spin room after the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Ted Cruz talks to the press in the media spin room after the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson attends the media spin room after the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Donald and Melania Trump talk to the press in the media spin room after the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Members of the press take a selfie with Eric Trump in the media spin room after the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Donald Trump is photographed as he talks to the press in the media spin room after the Republican Presidential debate in North Charleston, S.C. on Jan. 14, 2016.

of

Updated

Seven Republican candidates are set to clash in the sixth GOP presidential debate Thursday night, hosted by FOX Business in North Charleston, South Carolina. The debate, slated to begin at 9 p.m. ET, will feature Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John Kasich.

Another four candidates who did not meet the network’s public polling requirements qualified for an undercard debate at 6 p.m. ET: Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. But Paul has announced that he will boycott the event, accusing the network and the RNC of picking winners and losers in the GOP field.

These photographs were shot on assignment by photographer Mark Peterson for MSNBC Photography as part of his on-going body of work “Political Theater” which examines the landscape of the American political system.

Speak Out