What to Watch For At the CNBC Republican Debate

28 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

CNBC Sells Out GOP Debate Ads at Huge Prices.

While millions will watch the third Republican presidential debate on TV, just a thousand 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. With the third face-off set for Wednesday night, CNBC has sold out its entire inventory of ads, commanding $250,000 — and in some cases north of that — for each 30-second spot, according to media buyers and sources at NBCUniversal. Scott Walker has since dropped out of the race, for instance — one thing has remained largely the same: The GOP campaign is still dominated by outsider candidates. The school has also organized a watch party for students. “At that point, you know they could be half a mile away at the Coors Center or hundreds of miles away in DC 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.

It’s also 25 percent higher than what CNN got during its Republican debate in September (when Donald Trump challenged CNN chief Jeff Zucker to donate the network’s ad revenue to veterans charities). 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. 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. 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.

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. Moderated by CNBC anchors Carl Quintanilla, Becky Quick and John Harwood, it will focus on the economy, specifically job growth, taxes, technology and retirement.

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. 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. 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.

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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

The subtext of the CNBC debate will be Ben Carson’s surge ahead of Trump in a national poll — the first to show Trump not in the lead since he entered the race. In the second debate, however, she described seeing a graphic scene in secretly recorded footage of Planned Parenthood that isn’t actually in those anti-abortion videos, and refused to acknowledge the mistake. According to a CBS News/New York Times poll released Oct. 27, Carson is now leading among Republican voters with 26 percent compared to Trump’s 22 percent. 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.

What he says, and how Carson responds, will go a long way in determining what trajectory the pair of surprising front-runners will be on going forward. “A lot of things will come out now and we’ll see how he holds up to the scrutiny,” Trump said Monday morning on MSNBC. “Ben’s got a lot of things in his past and we’ll see, we’ll see how he holds up.” Rubio and Sen. CU says, “No Public Tickets Are Available.” A statement from the university notes, “While limited, the majority of CU’s tickets will be distributed to faculty and students whose areas of study have a direct educational tie to the American election process, politics, its media coverage and the economy — which is the topic of the debate. Anyone who has followed the campaign knows that Trump has delighted in citing his lead in the polls, and Wednesday’s debate could generate even more fireworks with Trump on the offensive. 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.

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. 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. Some tickets will also be provided directly to the CU Student Government to distribute as they deem appropriate to students.” Organizers limited the number of tickets for students to a mere 100 in the 11,000-seat arena, then released 50 more when students and faculty protested. 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.

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. 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.” 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. Key features: The famously blunt governor of New Jersey saw his reputation damaged when his appointees were accused of purposely tying up traffic on a busy bridge for political payback.

After he accused CNBC of attempting to drag the debate out so that the network could sell more commercials, CNBC acquiesced to Trump and Carson’s demands. Quintanilla has interviewed Trump many times and says he’s ready for whatever Trump and the other candidates may dish out. “I’m not really surprised by much anymore. But I want the candidates to be the people they are,” he says. “Whether that’s Trump or anyone else poking at us or us poking back at them, let’s have an exchange.

Twitter-news
Our partners
Follow us
Contact us
Our contacts

About this site