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Signs outside the Venetian hotel on the Las Vegas Strip announce the upcoming Republican presidential debate, hosted by CNN, December 14, 2015,  in  Las Vegas, Nevada.  On the main stage for the December 15 GOP debate, the fifth of the primary season, will be businessman Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.  AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
Signs outside the Venetian hotel on the Las Vegas Strip announce the upcoming Republican presidential debate, hosted by CNN, December 14, 2015,  in  Las Vegas, Nevada.  On the main stage for the December 15 GOP debate, the fifth of the primary season, will be businessman Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.  AFP PHOTO / ROBYN BECK / AFP / ROBYN BECK        (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)

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Candidates appear in good spirits ahead of GOP debate

CNN's Jeff Zeleny talks with Ben Carson as he arrives at the debate hall ahead of the GOP debate on CNN.

Candidates appear in good spirits ahead of GOP debate

CNN's Jeff Zeleny talks with Ben Carson as he arrives at the debate hall ahead of the GOP debate on CNN.