Will there be Fireworks in the Republican Debate?

The next Republican presidential debate is fast-approaching.  It’s Wednesday, September 16th, at 8 pm ET (7 pm CT / 6pm MT / 5 pm PT / 4pm Alaska Time) .  It will originate from the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, CA and will be broadcast on CNN with Jake Tapper moderating.  It will feature front-runner Donald Trump, along with Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, and Rand Paul.  It will be preceded by the “Runner Up (in the Polls) Debate” two hours earlier with Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal, and George Pataki. Rick Perry has suspended his campaign and presumably will not attend the Runner Up Debate.

Will there be Fireworks in the Republican Debate?

Yes, expect fireworks!  Donald Trump is the clear front-runner.  In the newest ABC/Washington Post poll, Trump has 33%, Ben Carson has 20%, and the rest of the field trail these two leading candidates in the single digits.  In a two-race between Trump and Clinton, the ABC/Washington Post poll gives Hillary Clinton the edge by 46 – 43.  But, with a margin of sampling error of +/- 3.5%, this makes it a virtual tie.

Because Trump is leading the Republican nomination race and because many candidates are stuck in the single digits, we can expect big fireworks.  This might be some candidates’ last chance to break out of their low polling numbers.

What’s Happening to the Candidates with Lower Polling Results?

It’s getting tougher and tougher to raise money for campaigns when the candidates have lower polling numbers.  Take two examples.  According to reports, Rick Perry recently suspended his presidential campaign and Scott Walker has scaled back his campaign to focus primarily on Iowa and South Carolina.  Those are potential signs of money problems that are probably due to low polling numbers.

What Will Candidates Do During the Debate?

Expect candidates to argue vigorously against Trump.  Expect some candidates to pick fights with Trump.  Expect candidates to:

  • Attempt to differentiate themselves from Trump in terms of policy or style and demeanor
  • Attempt to argue that Trump is not a conservative (and bring up old policy positions)
  • Attempt to argue that Trump is not well-informed or well-versed on the issues
  • Attempt to argue that Trump doesn’t know how to run a serious campaign
  • Attempt to argue that Trump will ultimately turn-off more voters than he wins over, and will lose the election, if nominated

What Topic is Almost a Guarantee to come up in the Debate?

Expect that the Club for Growth’s email letter will come up during the debate.  Last weekend, the Club for Growth (a group that seeks prosperity and opportunity through economic freedom) issued a scathing attack on Trump. According to the Club for Growth: “The Club believes that Donald is the worst Republican candidate on economic issues – plain and simple.”

How will Trump respond to these Attacks?

Expect Trump to fight back hard.

What about Post-Debate Analysis?

Please check back on Thursday, September 17th for my post-debate analysis.  Who won?  Who lost?  Will Trump maintain his lead?  Will someone new move up into contention?  What will the polls look like in a week?

Special Note to Talk Radio Show Hosts and Producers

If you would like me to do both pre-debate and post-debate interviews, please contact Sandy and schedule both at the same time.  It will make things run smoother.

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