Donald Trump will face pressure on Saturday night to show a more presidential side to his personality at a debate with his rivals where he may draw more fire than in previous encounters.
With a week to go until South Carolina's Republican primary vote on Feb. 20, the debate comes at a time of high anxiety for Trump's opponents.
The death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a champion of conservatives, was likely to be a prime topic at the debate. The prevailing opinion among the Republican candidates was that Scalia's replacement should be left up to the next president and not Democratic President Barack Obama, who could change the conservatives' 5-4 advantage on the court.
Trump, who won New Hampshire handily on Tuesday after placing second in Iowa on Feb. 1, has a big lead in the polls in South Carolina. Unless he is slowed down, he could be in position to roll to his party's presidential nomination for the Nov. 8 election.