Six things to watch at the Republican debate

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

10 things to watch for at the 3rd Republican presidential debate.

Ten Republican presidential hopefuls will line up onstage Wednesday night for their third debate, but a few key matchups and moments will probably determine the outcome. When 14 Republican presidential candidates take the stage Wednesday in Boulder, their jabs and attempts to stand out could cement emerging campaign story lines or upend them. Chris Christie, Donald Trump, and the rest of the crowded Republican presidential field line up for the party’s third primary debate Wednesday night at the University of Colorado, here are 10 things to look out for: Christie had a pair of notable moments in the first two debates: Battling with Rand Paul over national security in debate No. 1 and chastising Trump and Carly Fiorina for spatting over their business records in debate No. 2. The more established candidates — Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, Chris Christie and Rand Paul — will likely tout their efforts to cut taxes and promote economic growth.

Reality star and real estate magnate Donald Trump has turned the conventions of televised political debate sideways and drawn huge audiences to these made-for-TV events. That’s especially so for the 6 p.m. main event, featuring the top 10 candidates in CNBC’s average of recent polls. “When you look at how wide-open the race is, and you combine that with the sheer number of eyeballs that have been tuning in to these things, you’ve got all the ingredients of a very consequential evening,” said Josh Penry, a Colorado GOP strategist who is the state chairman for Marco Rubio’s campaign. But Trump loves being top dog, so his performance after falling behind the mild-mannered retired neurosurgeon will be telling — as will voters’ reactions. The second one even gave him a bit of a bump in the polls. “Most of the pundits said he did a solid and respectable job in the previous debates,” said Matthew Hale, a political science professor at Seton Hall University. “I think he needs to continue that.” Largely because the New Jersey governor been toward the middle of the polls, Christie has been able to avoid questions about the George Washington Bridge scandal or his record in New Jersey. The front-runner is rich enough to pay for his own campaign — and brags about that — but 74,000 donors showered him with nearly $4 million in small-dollar contributions, July through September.

After two GOP debates, Trump and neurosurgeon Ben Carson hold huge leads in the national polls, and the traditional politicians struggle to gain traction. Trump trails Carson in at least four recent polls of voters in Iowa, and a CBS/New York Times poll released Tuesday showed him slightly behind Carson nationwide.

Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, says voters are responding to his message. “People are recognizing that I’m consistent and I’m truthful and I’m one of them,” Carson said on Breitbart News. Carson has said that the scientific theory of evolution is based on “incredible fairy tales.” He’s a creationist who espouses beliefs based on his Seventh-day Adventist faith. Carson — The Donald will be front and center but, as we wrote in today’s premium and print editions, it comes with a new twist: Ben Carson’s rise to the polling lead in some surveys. The strikingly soft-spoken Carson says he was a hot-tempered teen who tried to stab a friend but woke up to his volatility, through Bible readings, and changed his ways. In the second round, he dialed back a bit while his competitors stepped things up, occasionally dropping their precious “talking points” in favor of battling Trump.

His controversial comments about immigration — and a push to deport an estimated 11 million people — may prove a sticking point in Colorado, where the Latino vote is a key constituency. But now that he’s dropping in some polls, the candidates might back off a bit — and that, in turn, could give them more time to focus on their own records and ideas. Questions in both debates will deal with “the key issues that matter to all voters,” CNBC said. “Job growth, taxes, technology, retirement and the health of our national economy.” The prime-time debate also features three U.S. senators — Rubio of Florida, Cruz of Texas, and Paul of Kentucky — who have been involved in high-stakes budget battles with the Obama administration.

Key features: Florida senator who teamed with Democrats on an immigration overhaul that would have given immigrants in the U.S. illegally a way to become citizens; now says fixing border security comes first. He is now stressing his appeal in caucus states — like his father, Ron — but is under increasing pressure from Washington types to pull the plug and focus on holding his Senate seat next year.

The governors and ex-governors in the field — Bush of Florida, Kasich of Ohio, Christie of New Jersey and Huckabee of Arkansas — are expected to emphasize economic development efforts in their states. Rubio got famous on the Internet in 2013 when he paused in his televised response to the State of the Union address to make an awkward reach for bottled water while staring into the camera, like a Poland Spring-swilling deer in the headlights.

Carson has struggled to explain how his healthcare plan, which centers on health savings accounts, could be paid for without harming the huge government program for retirees that is extremely popular among most Republican voters. There could also be more talk of his time as a casino owner in Atlantic City from 1984 to 2009 — an era that saw his companies file for bankruptcy four times.

CNBC After the debate, CNBC has scheduled a special episode of its own outstanding reality series. “The Profit” ranks at the top of the long list of “fix my business” shows. He says he’s not his father or his brother, however: “I am my own man, and my views are shaped by my own thinking and experience.” Her first two debate performances gave a big boost to Fiorina’s campaign.

Sure, it has its moments of staged drama, but they aren’t as bad as the ones from “Bar Rescue” or “Tabatha Takes Over.” Host Marcus Lemonis gets to the heart of what makes the businesses he fixes succeed or fail. “Little Women: L.A.,” 9 p.m. Familiar to many voters from books and frequent TV appearances, Carson has gone after the religious conservative vote, lately emphasizing his opposition to abortion, which he compared to slavery. Then there was this quote over the weekend: “I’ve got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, being miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them. Bush’s allies have made clear they see Rubio as his chief competition and have sought to focus attention on the senator’s lack of experience. “There’s not a lot there, record-wise,” Bush’s longtime strategist Mike Murphy said in a recent interview with Bloomberg. Though he was once considered the Republican establishment pick, the former Florida governor. has dropped to fourth place in the Real Clear Politics average of polls — after Trump, Carson, and Rubio.

Moderators Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick and John Harwood are leading a debate branded “Your Money, Your Vote,” so there will be pocketbook questions aplenty. His recent gathering with family and top donors in Texas may have recharged Bush, and analysts think a strong debate performance would buy him breathing room. Huckabee’s numerous books include a diet guide called “Quit Digging Your Grave with a Knife and Fork,” published in 2006 after he shed more than 100 pounds.

Crew members help set up the debate stage Tuesday in preparation for Wednesday’s Republican presidential debate at the Coors Events Center in Boulder. But the first-term senator has been skipping his day job to campaign and raise money across the nation and is likely to be challenged on his spotty voting and attendance record. Richardson, The Denver Post) With the heat on his campaign, Bush will face pressure to connect on economic issues and re-establish himself as the alternative to the top-polling outsider candidates. “This is going to be a deciding debate for Jeb Bush,” said Jeff Motter, a CU instructor who specializes in debate communication. “If he can’t give people a compelling reason to vote for him (instead of) Donald Trump or even Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, I think he’s out.” The freshman senator, a GOP insurgent and instigator of government shutdowns, remains wildly popular among some voters who thirst for an outsider. The undercard — Your warm-up act will be Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal and George Pataki, now that former kids’ table participant Carly Fiorina has ensconced herself in the top tier.

Huckabee has criticized their sexualized lyrics and writes that Jay Z is arguably crossing the line from husband to pimp in exploiting his wife as a sex object. Seizing on the debate’s economic focus, Fiorina began laying the groundwork by taking aim at Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton’s economic policies.

But that might change Wednesday now that Clinton appears to be gaining momentum in recent weeks, thanks to the first Democratic debate and news that Vice President Joe Biden isn’t entering the race. Carly Fiorina: The former Hewlett-Packard chief and the sole woman in the GOP field drew support with standout performances in the last main Republican debate and in the August undercard. Fiorina will aim to deliver another winning performance, but will be fighting the many other candidates who are seeking their own breakthrough with voters.

She’s also open to attacks from her rivals about her controversial tenure at Hewlett-Packard, a topic that they — aside from Trump — have studiously avoided.

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