Republican presidential debates raise huge Trump question as candidates jockey for nomination

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The Republican Party’s first preliminary debate will take place within 12 weeks by Aug. 23. Will former President Donald Trump throw a ball and confuse more and more challengers? Could a debate undermine his commanding lead?

The Republican National Committee has announced criteria that candidates must meet in order to participate. For some, taking the debate stage will be their first chance to speak to a national audience for free.

The risks are high, especially when the lead horse is about to run away in the race. If you’re a Republican vying for his 2024 presidential run, it’s going to be hard to catch your breath. Trump is still sucking oxygen out of the room.

As the Republican presidential campaign expands, will it help or hurt Trump in the race for the 2024 GOP nomination?

The debate is therefore extensive. The first event will be held in Milwaukee and will be broadcast by FOX News. The second will be staged at the Reagan Presidential Library in California. It has not been announced which networks will broadcast the forum.

The big question is whether former President Donald Trump will participate in the Republican debate. (Eva Marie Uzkategi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Candidates must meet various voting and fundraising goals to join their rivals in these slug festivals. For example, it must have a minimum voter turnout of 1% in national independent polls and collect donations from at least 40,000 unique supporters. These hurdles should be relatively easy for most people in the race today.

Worse still, candidates must also sign a pledge of allegiance pledging to endorse the final candidate. Would Chris Christie agree to endorse candidate Donald Trump? Would President Trump agree to endorse anyone? He rejected that promise in 2016, but will he be more forgiving now?

More importantly for the whole enterprise, what if President Trump, who is leading by a wide margin, decides not to participate? In late April, he said no one had gotten approval before scheduling the debate.

He went on to say, “If you have a hostile network that is leading by seemingly insurmountable numbers and is asking ‘questions’ from angry anchors who hate Trump and Maga, why are you being subjected to slander and abuse?” can you?” he asked.

From Trump’s perspective, it’s a legitimate question. What are the advantages?

To date, President Trump’s campaign appearances have been in front of friendly audiences, such as the CNN Town Hall hosted by Kaitlan Collins. That’s where he really shines.

Meanwhile, Trump’s debate history has been tumultuous. Some (myself included) have argued that his firestorm against Joe Biden in his first presidential debate has made him ineligible for president in 2020. His coaches (including Chris Christie) were heard urging him to be aggressive toward Biden in hopes of unleashing the former vice president’s wrath. That made him too old to run for office and may have undermined his convictions. The image of a “good person”.

It was a disaster. Instead of boasting of his many achievements as president, Trump has shown himself to be a hostile, humorless, and unwelcoming figure.

Ron DeSantis of Iowa

Entering the primary season, former President Donald Trump has a wide lead over Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis wants to use the debate as a means of balancing things. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, in 12 (!!) preliminary debates, Trump was able to turn his TV-age notoriety into an even stronger candidate. He was sharp, combative, and a problem solver. could he do the same again?

At this point, Trump has everything to lose and little to gain. After all, he faces off against a number of highly qualified candidates, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, entrepreneur Vivek Ramasamy, and South Carolina Republican Senator Tim Scott. It will be.

And Trump (perhaps rightly) thinks he has the biggest audience, and you might wonder why he should reach millions of viewers for his opponents.

These are legitimate concerns, but his lead isn’t necessarily “insurmountable,” and voters won’t like his refusal to participate, except:

Currently, Trump leads second-place finisher DeSantis by about 30 points. But while the gap was widening, it has narrowed in recent years as the governor of Florida went out on the campaign trail.

Polls fluctuate. Things can change and mistakes can happen. For President Trump to denigrate the youth against his rival, or to (erroneously) suggest that Mr. DeSantis has managed the pandemic worse than disgraced New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, is a winning strategy. isn’t it.

Meanwhile, DeSantis isn’t the only Republican expected to spend time in the nascent reserve state. The Republican bench is thick. Any one of several attractive candidates could suddenly challenge President Trump’s lead.


And voters want debate. A poll last month showed that a whopping 79% of Democrats who voted for Biden want the DNC to hold a preliminary debate. At this time, there are no scheduled debates, which are traditional for incumbents running for office. The same number of people who voted for President Trump also want the two candidates to be at odds.

Worse still, candidates must also sign a pledge of allegiance pledging to endorse the final candidate. Would Chris Christie agree to endorse candidate Donald Trump? Would President Trump agree to endorse anyone? He rejected that promise in 2016, but will he be more forgiving now?

There’s no guarantee that you’ll be nominated just because you’ve done well early on. Remember 2020. Current Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders led the Democratic Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. Joe Biden finished a distant fourth and fifth, respectively.

It was in South Carolina that Mr. Biden’s campaign got into full swing. Backed by black voters, the former vice president crushed the opposition.


Things can change rapidly. After all, on this very day in 2015 leading up to the 2016 election, the Republican frontrunners were, in order, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Florida Senator Marco Rubio, and then-Wisconsin Governor Scott. rice field. Walker and neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson. The fields were densely packed. Trump didn’t enter the contest until June 16, changing the campaign forever.

Trump’s victory now seems inevitable, but if he refuses to debate, his supporters may perceive it as a sign of weakness rather than strength. They may also take him for granted. It might hurt him.

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