Because of the incredibly large 2016 Republican field – 17 candidates – Fox announced in May that it was limiting participation in the opening GOP debate to candidates in the top 10 of an average of the five most recent national polls released by August. 4 at 5 p.m. ET (though Fox hasn’t specified exactly which polls it will use).
The exclusive club will feature notable omissions. The remaining candidates will be included in a secondary forum that starts four hours earlier.
Sen. Lindsey Graham’s exclusion from the first prime-time debate among Republican presidential candidates on Thursday means he’ll miss a sure-fire chance to elevate his low national profile.
Graham told NBC News on Sunday in New Hampshire that the “happy hour debate” for second-tier candidates, which will not include GOP front-runner Donald Trump, will give him a chance to stand out “where there is not so much noise and gibberish”. And New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, desperately trying to revive his campaign, voiced what many were thinking: “Am I washed up?”
According to Google Trends’ interactive county-by-county map of searches for the Republican candidates, posted Tuesday, the real estate billionaire drew the most interest in nearly every state in the nation, replete with a color-coded map bleeding red – Trump’s assigned color code.
Monday night’s gathering was most notable for what was missing: The fireworks that usually come from interaction between candidates and the fireworks that would have likely come from the presence of Donald Trump.
But seeing as how Trump has been the subject of numerous racism controversies over the past few months – and has also been leading the polls – his trumping (excuse us) other candidates to become the top searched is expected. It also was criticized by some Republicans as unfair given the number of candidates bunched in the low single digits, well within the margin of error of most polls.
I took a stab at averaging the latest five polls together and determining the resulting margin of error for each candidate with the guidance of Samuel Wang, neuroscientist and founder of the Princeton Election Consortium blog.
Neither did former Gov. Rick Perry who’s never recovered from gaffes he made during the 2012 presidential campaign.
“You want to stanch the flow”, he said as his Republican rivals watched from the front row of the crowded St. Anselm College auditorium.
While Thursday’s debate will be broadcast on Fox News, Monday’s event was aired on C-SPAN and local television stations in Iowa and South Carolina – states that, along with New Hampshire, will host the first contests in the presidential primary calendar next February. Marco Rubio of Florida with 5 percent each, and Christie and Ohio Gov. John Kasich tied at 3 percent each.
Asked about Trump while courting religious conservatives on Tuesday, Bush said the businessman’s rhetoric on immigrants is “wrong”.
“These politicians – I always say, they’re all talk, no action”, Trump said on ABC’s This Week. “It’d have been great if he’d have been here”.