Tag Archives: Lindsay Graham

Republican Winnowing; Democratic Solidifying

We are coming up on the November debates — the Republicans on Fox Business Channel, the Democrats on CBS.  The sheer size of the Republican field (and the impossibility of being fair to all of the candidates) continues to drive everybody mad.  Arbitrary criteria lead to candidates being shuffled to the “JV” debate or excluded all together; and the shortness of time leads to candidates being upset about not getting a chance to make their points.  On the other hand, with only five candidates originally and three candidates left now, the time issues are not that pressing on the Democratic side.

For the upcoming Republican debates, three candidates have been excluded from the JV debates (Lindsay Graham, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore).  Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, and Rick Santorum will take part in the JV debate.  The main event will feature Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, and Rand Paul.

The number of Republicans running creates a potential paradox in the normal money primary.  At this point in the campaign, trailing candidates routinely find themselves in a catch-22 — they need more funds to become competitive but they need to become competitive to get more funds.  However, putting aside Carson and Trump (as most of the money folks seem to think that both will collapse), several of the candidates can point to a poll showing them within the margin of error of third place in at least one early state.  However, it is highly unlikely that 15 candidates will make it to Iowa.  I would not be surprised if Senator Graham decides that with Rand Paul not being a serious contender that he no longer is needed to assure that the Republican field takes an aggressive stand on foreign policy.  If Gilmore and Pataki were actually running expensive campaigns, I would not be surprised for them to call it a day soon.  Since they aren’t, they might just stick around.  Santorum, Huckabee, and Jindal are all competing for the same slot — currently occupied by Ben Carson.  At some point, the lack of funds will force one or all of them to drop out.  The November JV debate may be the last chance for one of these three to become the alternative to Carson.

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Posted in Democratic Debates, GOP, Money in Politics, Politics, Republican Debates | Also tagged , , , 1 Comment