Donald Trump was the candidate everyone talked about after the first Republican presidential debate of 2015, according to an Aug. 18 article from CNN. CNN said Trump had already made quite the impression with his strong opinions and his candid way of stating them, but after the Aug. 6 debate, his approval ratings went up among the public and the Republican party.
The Washington Post said the candidates who thought Trump would be the cause of his own demise became worried he may actually become the Republican candidate on the November 2016 ticket. And according to the Washington Post, that’s the reason why most of the candidates who have been struggling in the polls are going to try trump Donald Trump in the Sept. 16 debate.
The Post said many of the candidates have stated they are going to be more assertive and forceful in an effort to overshadow Trump. But the candidates run the risk of spending too much time attacking Trump and not enough time on stating their stance on important issues. The Post said the candidates are hoping the Sept. 16 debate will lessen Trump’s lead in the polls, because no one has been able to come close to Trump.
Kevin Sims, professor of political science at Cedarville, said the Sept. 16 debate may give the public a better understanding of the candidates’ positions on important issues. He said the first debate was just the candidates showing who they are, but in the second debate each candidate will hopefully be able to answer a few more questions. This will allow people to have a better idea of where each candidate stands on important issues and which issues matter the most to each candidate.
In each debate, there are certain requirements that the candidates have to meet. There are usually 10 candidates chosen by national polls taken during a certain amount of time.
According to CNN, the candidates for the Sept. 16 debate were chosen based on five different polls taken between August and September. CNN said it changed the criteria for this debate because there were fewer polls taken this year. There are typically 15 or 16 national polls taken from July to September, but this year just five were taken during that time frame. CNN said if it had selected the candidates in the same way as for previous debates, Carly Fiorina would not be in Wednesday’s main debate.
According to The Post, Fiorina was said to have given the best performance in the Aug. 6 debate, and her approval ratings rose significantly afterwards.
“Carly Fiorina deserved to be in it,” Sims said. “She was the clear ‘winner’ of the pre-debate debate, and she should be acknowledged for that and given a spot in this debate.”
Mark Smith, professor of political science and director of Cedarville’s Center for Political Studies, said the election is over a year and a half away, and this is only the second debate. Thus, it may be hard to see why this is an important debate to watch. But Smith said this debate will help to narrow down the candidates. The bottom candidates will try to make a statement and pull ahead of the candidates who have received more support.
“This debate may be their last chance,” Smith said. “For some, this could be the beginning of the end.”
Smith said the Sept. 16 debate may not tell anything definitive about who will be the Republican presidential candidate, but it is still important to be informed about the candidates in the election. He said debates can be a good way to learn about a candidate’s personality as people can see whether a candidate is a fighter and how that candidate reacts in a pressure-filled situation. Smith said the debate is not the best way to find out neither what the candidates’ beliefs are nor what they think because of the time limit and the large number of candidates on stage.
A debate between the four lowest-polling candidates will air at 6 p.m. Sept. 16, preceding the main debate that includes 11 candidates. According to CNN, the four candidates in the pre-show debate are Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, George Pitaki and Lindsey Graham. The 11 candidates in the main debate include Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Carly Fiorina, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, John Kasich and Chris Christie. The only Republican candidate not meeting the one-percent-support criteria for participation in the debate is former Virginia governor Jim Gilmore.
Rick Perry, former Texas governor, who would have been in the pre-show debate, recently dropped out of the presidential race according to an article from the New York Times.
The CNN-sponsored debates will take place at the Reagan Library in California Sept. 16. The four-candidate debate will air 6-7:45 p.m. ET on CNN, and the main debate will begin at 8 p.m. ET on CNN.
Swing by DMC 157 at 8 p.m. Sept. 16 to watch the debate with Cedars.
Heather Matchefts is a sophomore off-campus news reporter for Cedars who has an interest in political science. She is a fan of the Olympic games, drinking tea and watching Jeopardy.