Getty Images/Des Moines Register

Every campaign agrees: Wednesday’s forum (Republicans) and Thursday’s (Democrats) are the real deal.

Both events begin at 2 pm ET, are being moderated by the DMR’s editor, and will be on lots of cable channels.

Who attacks? Who gaffes? Who changes the momentum?

Consensus: no one is downplaying expectations for these events, or how vital it is for each and every candidate to do well.

HALPERIN’S TAKE: “Among the Big 8, who has the most on the line? Ranked from most on the line to least. . . .”

Plus: GOP candidate Alan Keyes joins debate Wed., while Kucinich says he’s being excluded Thurs. because IA field director operates from home instead of rented storefront.

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