Trump vs. Rubio and Cruz at Houston Republican debate

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a campaign event at Regents University in Virginia BeachBy Emily Stephenson HOUSTON (Reuters) – Donald Trump takes center stage at a debate in Houston on Thursday as the favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination, with time running out on his remaining rivals to change a race rapidly tilting away from them. Trump, 69, has won three of the first four contests in the nomination fight for the Nov. 8 election to succeed Democratic President Barack Obama. After easily defeating his rivals in Nevada on Tuesday, the New York billionaire businessman is in position for more victories on March 1, when Republican party contests will be held in 11 states on what is dubbed "Super Tuesday." At a CNN-hosted debate at the University of Houston, Trump's rivals will have one of their last best chances to try to derail the blunt-spoken political outsider before Super Tuesday.

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