Seventh Republican debate: Candidates tangle over Islamic State and immigration in Trump’s absence

Welcome to a special Republican debate edition of Trail Guide, your host through the wilds of the 2016 presidential campaign. We’re live in Des Moines, the site of the last debate before Iowa’s caucuses, as well as Donald Trump’s competing event for veterans, and here’s what we’re talking about:

  • Without Donald Trump onstage, the rest of the top-tier field attacked one another on immigration and terrorism
  • Our takeaways: Trump was mostly a target for jokes, and the immigration debate was especially heated
  • The scene at Trump’s competing event in Des Moines
  • At the lower-tier candidates’ debate: It’s the media’s fault, for starters