ROBINSON: First debate should be fun
The New Jersey governor, initially viewed as a top-tier candidate, is in danger of not making it into next week’s prime-time Fox News debate because of low polling numbers. And so he reduced himself to calling his own majority leader, Sen. “Roger Ailes knows how to make good television”, said Andrew Tyndall, publisher of TV news analysis newsletter The Tyndall Report. “It’s nearly like you don’t want to be too close”, one campaign adviser says, “in case he self-combusts”.
According to a Politico analysis of the latest national polling, if the debates were held today, the prime-time participants would be Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, Sen. They can make their closing arguments and voice their final rebuttals of anything any candidate has said that night. Fox News might get grief for its high median viewer age and ethnic makeup – 68 years old and 92% white as of the beginning of last year – but anybody anxious to celebrate its demise will have a long wait ahead. That could eliminate the poll by PPP, which is run by Democrats.
Barring an eleventh-hour surge in the polls, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, George Pataki and Lindsey Graham are likely to appear in the Republican primary “forum” that will air on Fox News at 5 p.m. ET.
In fact, the State Republican Party advises that all the tickets are spoken for and, while the original plan was to accept online ticket requests through this Friday, that process has ended early. Clips from that first debate will be replayed ad nauseum for days after the actual event, magnifying its importance.
“For those polls who are already considered the gold standard, they don’t need their reputation affirmed by Fox”, Moore said. Here’s the mystery: Fox News has not said which polls it will use for its average, or what is a legitimate survey. “Gotcha” lines are no doubt being cooked up and rehearsed. We looked at an extensive list of past polling information for dozens of different pollsters dating back to 1998, in both presidential and legislative national elections.
“Debates are not the be-all and end-all”. When he entered the race June 16 skeptics though the businessman would struggle to even make the top 10 but he is now the debate’s focal point, not just because of the way he has created controversy with his remarks but because he leads the national polls for Republicans.
It’s the massive GOP field – with the outsize personality of Trump at the top – that is giving party bosses heartache. But there’s clear business sense in bigging up Trump.
Republican presidential candidates from left, Rep. Ron Paul of Texas; former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney; Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota; former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, pose for a photo before the start of the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate at the CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa, Thursday, August 11, 2011. The rest will quickly become “also-rans”.