Washington for News Talk Florida – Normally a debate during the summer over a year before we even know who the main candidates are would only draw the real political junkies, but not this time. No, Donald Trump is running for president and his un filtered style of, tell it like it is, politics means the ratings will be huge.
The man who seems to be fired another company every day continues to draw crowds and move up in the polls. For now Trump has tapped into the “I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore,” part of the Republican Party.
While Trump may not be politically correct, to at least some members of the GOP faithful, he has a message they feel the rank and file politician does not have the “guts,” to say. He is a political nightmare because he is rich and has nothing to lose because he does not have to be re-elected or worry about offending donors.
In the bright lights of the debate, Trump, who has had more than his share of camera time will be front and center for what could be a very entertaining night of television.
So on August 6th from the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio FOX News Channel will broadcast the first Republican presidential primary debate in prime-time 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. Serving as the pannel asking the questions will be Special Report anchor Bret Baier, The Kelly File anchor Megyn Kelly and FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace, the debate will feature Facebook data illustrating how the issues of the day are resonating with people on today’s largest platform for political conversation.
Only the top ten candidates will invited to participate based on qualifying criteria described by FOX News, which will host the GOP showdown in partnership with Facebook are using an average of five as-yet-unspecified national polls to determine the lineup.
But barring some big change in the polls here are the ten candidates most likely to take the stage in Cleveland on what will no doubt be a hot night in the northeast Ohio town.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, Dr. Ben Carson, Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, businessman Donald Trump, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and hometown favorite, Ohio Gov. John Kasich.
At the moment those likely not to make the cut are former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, businesswoman Carly Fiorina, former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.), Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and former New York Gov. George Pataki.
It is the first of what is expected to be 12 GOP debates before the 2016 primary season is over. After the FOX News debate in Cleveland, next up on September 16th from Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California and the debate will air live on CNN, CNN International and CNN Espanol. The Salem Radio Network will broadcast the debate.
CNN will use the format developed by FOX News, a ten candidate limit, determined by the polls, plus they will add a debate for the second tier candidates that don’t make the cut.
In many ways the ” Trump factor,” has caused an increase in the urgency by many of those “middle of the pack,” candidates to push to make the top ten. Not making the first two debates could mean it will be tougher to raise money and some campaigns could be over before the first primary is event held.
In an unprecedentedly large field of 16 presidential contenders, at least half are statistically on the bubble of not qualifying for the debate stage, with only a month to differentiate themselves. The result is a campaign-within-a-campaign, with very different imperatives from the ones the primary process is designed to produce.
Those campaigns who are in danger of not making the cut may try everything possible to improve their chances over the next four weeks—taking extreme, news-making positions; dumping opposition research on opponents; inundating e-mail inboxes; and blitzing the Sunday television circuit, late-night talk shows, conservative radio airwaves, and cable news programs. Instead of spending resources on political operations in early-voting states, candidates may blow that cash on national TV ads to boost name recognition at the eleventh hour.
Not making the debate is not an option for a serious candidate and so this should be a fun month for political junkies.