Will the Republican Presidential Race Get Shaken Up This Week?

There’s no question the race has been heating up and we can expect some surprises and a potential shakeup this week.  We can also expect the number of candidates to fall from 14 down to a more manageable number between now and Thanksgiving.  What can we expect in the Republican Presidential Debate this week and what can we expect in the aftermath to the debate?  Let’s talk about it now …

First, When and Where is the Next Republican Presidential Debate?

The third Republican Presidential Debate takes place this week on Wednesday, October 28th, in Boulder, Colorado at the University of Colorado Coors Events Center. The main debate starts at 8 pm ET, while the runner up debate starts at 6 pm ET. It’s hosted by CNBC. The moderators are CNBC’s Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick, and John Harwood.

Who’s in the Main Debate?  Who’s in the Runner Up Debate?

Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, John Kasich, and Rand Paul are in the main debate for a total of 10 candidates.  The runner up debate consists of the remaining 4 candidates: Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, George Pataki, and Lindsey Graham.

What is Possibly the Most Important “Debate-within-a-Debate?”

Keep your eyes on the interaction between Donald Trump and Ben Carson.  Obviously, they have been the top two candidates in the polls and last week, their rivalry heated up over religion.  Is Trump going to be able to criticize Ben Carson and continue to lead in the polls?  Or, will attacking Ben Carson (who has the highest favorability rating of any candidate in either party) backfire on Trump and propel Ben Carson into the #1 spot in next week’s polls?

Ben Carson is making headway slowly and quietly.  His poll numbers are improving and the Trump-Carson polling gap seems to be shrinking.  Yet, Trump remains the clear frontrunner.

The Trump-Carson debate-within-a-debate has the potential to really shake up this Republican presidential race this week.  It’s worth watching closely.

Another “Debate-within-a-Debate is between Donald Trump and Jeb Bush?

Jeb Bush is attempting to make a comeback after recent meetings with supporters that were attended by his family members.  Jeb was in the headlines Monday morning criticizing Trump for not being ”serious” and getting policy advice from “the shows.”

If Jeb Bush is to be taken seriously himself, he needs to move up in the polls.  Expect Jeb to attack Trump.  But, will his attacks come across as weak?  Plus, how will Trump handle Jeb’s attacks?

The Trump-Bush debate-within-a-debate might make or break the Bush campaign.  Of course, even if Jeb Bush does not decisively handle Trump, he will likely stay in the race for as long as possible.

What Can We Expect from the Other Candidates?

You can expect all the other candidates to have two or three clever, one-liners ready to use whenever they get a chance to speak.  They will have a zinger or two and probably at least one headline-grabbing “shocking statement.”

The other candidates need to rise above the crowd literally, if they hope to have any chance of getting the nomination.

Carly Fiorina will hope to repeat her post-debate #2 bounce that quickly faded out.

What about the Eight Candidates with less than a 4% Polling Average?

There are now two tiers of candidates that are broken down at the 4% average polling number.  Eight candidates are less than 4% in the average of major polls.  They probably can’t stay in the race much longer and be considered viable.  I expect to see many of them leave the race very soon and probably before Thanksgiving.

With those eight candidates possibly suspending their campaigns, there are still six candidates available to choose from.

For More Information

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