The Carson-Trump Slugfest, Plus Nine Other Things to Watch at Wednesday’s GOP …

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

A Debate CNBC Plans to Win.

Americans who watch Wednesday’s debate in Boulder wondering whether Republicans could really nominate one of the two poll-leading but unqualified candidates at center stage should repeat to themselves: It’s early, still very early.While millions will watch the third Republican presidential debate on TV, just 1,000 people will get tickets to see the event in person in the massive Coors Events Center on the scenic University of Colorado campus in Boulder. “The way it was explained to us by CNBC is the event is meant for a TV audience, not so much for a live audience,” said Ryan Lynch, the executive director of the Colorado Republican Party, which will get 200 tickets to split among party donors and elected officials.Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… John Kasich ripped into his GOP rivals on Tuesday, saying he has “had it with these people.” Which could certainly make for a pithy communications strategy: “Kasich 2016: #SMH, America.” Our big sibling publication First Read wrote this week that all eyes are on Jeb Bush heading into tomorrow’s debate, as the pressure grows on the onetime GOP frontrunner to turn around campaign momentum that’s been heading in the wrong direction.

But – especially after days of the drumbeat about Ben Carson’s new spot at the top of the GOP field, the former neurosurgeon is also going to be in the hotseat like he hasn’t been before. The school has also organized a watch party for students. “At that point, you know, [the candidates] could be half a mile away at the Coors Center or hundreds of miles away in D.C. and it would make no difference,” said Estevez-Miller. “We think it’ll be a great opportunity for the community, the economic impact, the branding for CU and for Boulder,” said university spokesman Ryan Huff. “I think that will inspire some people to apply who maybe have never heard of our university before or want to learn more about it.” There’s also the question of why famously liberal Boulder, where 70 percent of voters backed Barack Obama over Mitt Romney in 2012, would host this debate. “You know if you look at the voter registration, Boulder would lean left, but this was another event we could have to really broaden the kind of viewpoints for our students to hear,” said Huff. And while that trio can move forward without a big moment on the Colorado debate stage, a half-dozen long-shot candidates are facing even more pressure to break out or get out. The 26-year-old financial cable news channel, often played on mute on trading floors and in financial firms’ offices (as well as in the lobby of CNBC’s headquarters in northern New Jersey), will center the debate on its bread and butter: business, the economy, money. The students filed their request under the Colorado Open Records Act on Oct. 1 and say the university has been slow to release letters, emails and documents between campus officials and the Republican National Committee, the state Republican party and CNBC, the cable news network producing the debate.

Chris Christie, Rand Paul, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, Rick Santorum and even Carly Fiorina need a big night if they’re hoping to keep running for long. Pundits judged after the debate that Carson generally fell short of those expectations, but which – perhaps predictably – didn’t put a dent in Carson’s upward trajectory.

Voters are paying closer attention to the candidates and their positions than they did six months ago, but it’s nothing like the attention they’ll pay when the new year arrives and balloting nears. Freshman Dylan Robinson-Ruett is registered as an independent and eager to vote for the first time in 2016 but said Republican organizers and CNBC are missing out on a chance to connect with students. “I mean obviously their focus is national, but they’re on our campus and I expected it to be more than a facade. This debate and the next one, in less than two weeks, are likely the last chances for a number of candidates to make a positive impression before the race begins to gel heading into the holiday season. But the difference now is that Trump is no longer the undisputed frontrunner, and Carson will receive even more scrutiny from both the moderators and his rivals on stage. Only then will we discover whether rank-and-file Republicans would actually turn to a candidate like Trump or Ben Carson, who now tops the real estate mogul in Iowa polling and one national poll, even though either would be a tremendous liability in a general election and possibly trigger a historic Democratic rout.

But give this much to the pair of political outsiders, and especially Trump: They’ve shown more resilience than almost anyone expected, and a Trump nomination in particular can no longer simply be dismissed. And the former Florida governor needs to show he can own the stage after turning in milquetoast performances in the first two GOP debates. “He still has enough money to buy himself time, but politically he can’t afford much regression and needs some kind of boost,” said Pawlenty. “He’s clearly struggling.” Bush has recently ratcheted up his rhetoric against Sen.

FIORINA: The Wall Street Journal reports that Carly Fiorina’s speaking firm sent prospective clients a message advertising that the former HP chief has “limited availability” for paid speeches even though she is running for president. Online services have neutralized the power of its stock updates, Fox Business debuted eight years ago, and Bloomberg Television has invested plenty to gain traction. “They’ve been the category leader, and there’s a built-in audience there,” said Brad Adgate, the senior vice president for research at Horizon Media, a media buying company. “If you’re talking financial news, it’s very much a desirable audience and you’re reaching corporate executives who are not heavy viewers of television.” Last year, CNBC averaged 131,000 viewers per day, down about half from its numbers in the throes of the 2008 financial crisis, according to Nielsen. (It did increase viewers from 2013 to 2014.) That may have been, in part, why the network announced last year that it would no longer use Nielsen ratings for its daytime hours. It comes from a desire to know why we’re being used as a facade and why they’re not letting students in.” On Monday, the university provided the Daily Camera with a breakdown of the 150 tickets given to the CU community.

For example, Carson said this month that Department of Education bureaucrats should monitor colleges for “extreme political bias” and “deny federal funding” where they find it exists. Who’s in: Candidates polling at 3 percent, according to CNBC’s criteria measured over a five-week window for determining eligibility, based on national polls by NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CNN and Bloomberg. The network contends that its affluent audience cannot be tracked by Nielsen’s household set meters; Brian Steel, a network spokesman, pointed to “trading floors, hotel rooms, corporate suites, restaurants and country clubs” as places where viewers watch. Of those, 99 tickets were provided to students, 17 were provided to faculty and 34 were provided to members of the Board of Regents, Chancellor Phil DiStefano, event volunteers and guests. And yet this call for the creation of federal thought police — only the most recent example of his appalling political clumsiness — failed to damage Carson’s campaign.

Bush’s advisers called Rubio a “GOP Obama” in a presentation to donors Monday night, the latest sign the governor may go after Rubio’s experience. “In the last 48 hours Trump is acting like a wounded animal with his poll numbers, so I think we’ll expect him to aggressively go after Carson,” said GOP strategist Brian Walsh. Wednesday’s debate will focus on economic issues such as taxes, retirement and job creation — which have grown increasingly important as the economy limps along in second gear. The same lineup as last time (minus Scott Walker): Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie and John Kasich.

The channel receives about 39 cents per subscriber, up from the 25 cents it was getting a decade ago, according to the financial research firm SNL Kagan. Huff, the spokesman, said state statute requires institutions to balance the public’s right to view records with the administrative burden associated with responding to requests. “As required by CORA, CU-Boulder has attempted to respond to the request as quickly as possible without unnecessarily interfering with the regular duties of university employees,” Huff said.

Additionally, programming such as “Shark Tank” reruns and original shows like “The Profit” and “Jay Leno’s Garage” have led to ratings growth in CNBC’s once dormant prime-time lineup. Also this week, some students are peeved that the debate is forcing them to park on East Campus — far away from the parking lots in front of their dorms. He recently took a dig at Carson’s religion, suggesting Seventh Day Adventism is outside mainstream Christianity, and on Tuesday all but promised he’d rip into Carson on the debate stage. The network has been asking for — and, in some cases, receiving — about $250,000 for 30-second commercial spots during the debate, according to an NBCUniversal executive who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The provost will consult with the deans and offer eight faculty members the opportunity to attend and invite four students to attend with each of the faculty members.

Ted Cruz of Texas, whose poll numbers have been slowly inching up, also need to show they’re ready for prime-time and will likely get more camera time — and face more scrutiny — than they have in the opening rounds. Though the debate will almost certainly set records for CNBC — its highest viewership came from Olympics coverage in 2002, when 3.9 million people tuned in — network executives are not anticipating numbers as high as Fox News (24 million viewers) or CNN (23 million) got for the Republican debates. He can’t return with his car until 6 p.m. on Thursday. “It’s cool that we’re having this debate, but it’s gotten to the point where it’s becoming such a big disturbance and such a hassle that it’s not worth having when it’s not even a student event,” Palmer said. “I don’t really know any students who are actually excited for it.

And while the big names will draw the most attention, it’s the others onstage — and who have been relegated to the earlier “kids table” debate — who may be the most desperate. Mainly we’re all just like ‘This is such a pain.'” “I realize when I signed the contract to have a parking permit at CU that I would have to give up my pass for certain events, but I was under the impression that that would be events students would be allowed to attend,” she said. The 2011 Republican debate on CNBC received 3.3 million viewers. (Fox Business will broadcast the next Republican debate, on Nov. 10.) Viewers should expect a steady diet of questions about the economy, personal finance and business. “It’s something we live and breathe every day,” said Nikhil Deogun, the editor in chief of CNBC. A panel of CNBC folks including On-Air Editor Rick Santelli, Senior Personal Finance Correspondent Sharon Epperson and Jim Cramer, host of “Mad Money,” will chime in. Jindal, Graham and Santorum may be running to prove a point rather than to be President and have small campaign teams that don’t put financial pressure on them to leave, but if they can’t capture enough attention to vault themselves onto the main debate stage, like Fiorina did, some of them might start wondering whether the campaign grind is worth it, too. “I don’t see anyone dropping out immediately with the next debate around the corner, but the opportunities for the lower-tier candidates are dwindling,” said Walsh. “If in a few weeks they’re not catching fire, I think you’ll see a handful of those candidates reevaluate those prospects.”

Trump has been a frequent guest on CNBC, and he used to appear in a regular segment called “Trump Tuesdays” on the channel’s morning show “Squawk Box.” Another candidate, Carly Fiorina, used to be a CNBC contributor. “There are some people who have a business background, and they’ll be the two who will be most well versed in this,” Ms. Trump and the other leading Republican presidential candidate, Ben Carson, led a push to keep the debate to two hours and to provide all the candidates 30 seconds for opening and closing remarks. CNBC bristled at the notion that it had caved to any pressure from the candidates. “It was a discussion, and that’s fairly standard for these types of things,” Mr. Don’t leave it.’ That’s when I asked him again, and it became clear it wasn’t just a momentary funny thing.” Those moments are pay dirt for moderators, but they are, by nature, unpredictable.

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