From which candidates will participate, to where they will stand, to how many seconds they have to speak, today's political debates are meticulously choreographed.
But no matter how intensively each candidate rehearses, there remains one giant unknown about the debate, which airs Thursday at 9 p.m. EDT on Fox News, namely, what the questions will be.
Fox News will ultimately determine debate topics, which will likely include questions about the recent Planned Parenthood controversy, the economy, foreign policy, and national security.
If average Americans were running the debate, what would they ask?
According to a Gallup assessment of what people say are the most important problems facing the country today, Americans would want to know how the candidates would fix the economy, deal with record-low confidence in Congress, improve race relations, handle immigration, and create jobs.
A similar survey by Rasmussen Reports found the economy, job creation, healthcare, government spending, and education to be the top five most important issues to likely voters.
What would the candidates ask each other? Six candidates have weighed in, posting videos on Facebook, which is partnering with Fox News in the debate, posing questions to their rivals.
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee asked, "Do you believe the recent ruling on same-sex marriage is the law of the land?"
South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham asked "How would you degrade and destroy ISIL without American ground forces?" And former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina asked, "How would each of you challenge Hillary Clinton?"
Now, members of the public can get in on the debate. Facebook is asking folks to submit a photo representing needed change in America, post a comment on the Facebook page, or upload a video of themselves asking a question.
And CNN has invited people to submit questions via Twitter with the hashtag #DebateQuestionsWeWantToHear.
If you could pose a question to the candidates in Thursday night's debate, what would it be?
From the sincere to the sarcastic, here are eight of the questions Twitter users want to hear Thursday night: