The next debate scheduled for November 10th comes in two airings – the first at 7 p.m. eastern and the second at 9 p.m. eastern. In case you’re wondering, the most desired slot is the 9 p.m. prime-time one.
The criteria to qualify for the prime-time slot – candidates needed to score 2.5% or higher in an average of the four most recent national polls. For the 7 p.m. debate, candidates with scores less than the 2.5% needed at least 1% support in at least one of the four most recent polls.
So, who made the cut? Donald Trump, Dr. Ben Carson, Sen. Marco Rubio, Sen. Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, former CEO of HP – Carly Fiorina, Gov. John Kasich, and Sen. Rand Paul. Those making the earlier debate include Gov. Chris Christie, former Gov. Mike Huckabee, Gov. Bobby Jindal, and former Sen. Rick Santorum.
The debate focuses on jobs, taxes, the economy, and other issues and will be held in the Milwaukee Theatre in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
So what does this mean to those making the second-team, or not making a team? Probably some see the writing on the wall, and withdrawals from the race might start happening. For others, their funding might begin to dry up, offering them a slower campaign death, and one or two of them may turn things around enough to make it to the primaries. It’s even possible one or more of them makes their way onto a short-list to become the Vice Presidential candidate.
What does it mean for the eight candidates making it on the prime-time debate roster? They still have some breathing space. However, it looks more and more like the race may come down to Billionaire businessman Donald Trump and Neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Currently, the two of them face off with 26% and 23% approval in the polls respectively. Carson seems to be steadily gaining ground on Trump.
And add into this mix the Donald making an appearance on Saturday Night Live – a choice seeming a bit bizarre, but nobody ever claimed Trump didn’t go for the unusual in his PR.
Trump chooses, not for the first time, to fling allegations and accusations about the veracity of things said by his opponents. Carson’s response to some such comments by Trump about Carson – “What does it say about people who immediately jump on the bandwagon if they hear something bad rather than waiting and finding out what the truth is?”
Trump seems desperate in his recent attacks, and with good reason since Carson steadily gains ground in the polls. Time will tell which way Republicans decide to cast their vote.
Roman Temkin is a mobile entrepreneur from NYC.