Tonight’s Republican presidential debate in Milwaukee will feature 12 candidates — eight on the mainstage and four on the undercard. But by the time the dust settles, four presidential candidates – Rick Santorum, Mike Huckabee, Carly Fiorina, and Rand Paul – could be practically finished.
The four are already failing to gain traction among voters, according to Business Insider.
Paul and Fiorina barely made it onto the mainstage this evening, each commanding just 3 percent in voter polls.
Huckabee’s demotion to the undercard will be difficult for his campaign, which was a longshot bid to begin with and has failed to gain traction, to weather. And Santorum has a meager 0.8 percent support in polls and is reportedly low on cash.
That means all four must impresses big at the debate tonight, or else their campaigns could sink further. And a win from any of them seems unlikely.
Fiorina has been the only candidate of the four to draw serious national attention after a debate appearance. But her campaign, which seemed on the rise just weeks ago, has fallen fast out of favor with Republican voters.
With the fewest number of candidates on stage so far this primary season, all their rival candidates will have more time to make their individual cases and distinguish themselves from the four.
Debate host Fox Business Network is promising to focus on substantive issues, a response to those who accused last month’s CNBC debate of focusing too much on politics and “gotcha” questions. Some candidates should be careful what they ask for.
The last debate was a disaster for Jeb Bush, whose attack on rival Marco Rubio backfired and thrust his anemic candidacy into crisis mode. He launched a so-called comeback tour days later in a bus emblazoned with the unintentionally ironic slogan, “Jeb can fix it.” Based on his performance in the first three debates, the former Florida governor has a lot to fix.
He has struggled to be aggressive in previous debates and failed to stand out on policy, which should be his strength. The self-described introvert may never dominate in a debate of big personalities, but he’ll need to avoid another disaster if he expects to rescue his campaign. He can’t fix it all at once with a strong performance Tuesday, but he can give his comeback some badly needed momentum.
Ben Carson has faced a firestorm of controversy in recent days over questions about his background. Carson’s supporters have rallied around him in recent days and blamed the media for his troubles. And Carson’s campaign says the scrutiny has energized him as never before. It’s also pushed him to change his strategy. Aides say he’s planning to defend himself far more aggressively than he has in the first three meetings.
It’s unclear, however, whether the soft-spoken Carson can play the aggressor on a stage with more aggressive opponents. His bigger challenge Tuesday night could be policy. As a former neurosurgeon, Carson has little background with key issues such as economics, foreign policy, Social Security or national security.
Marco Rubio emerged from the last debate as one of the clear winners, yet questions remain about his ability to build upon his newfound momentum. Look for his opponents to do everything they can to stop him. Both Jeb Bush and Donald Trump have identified Rubio as their chief rival. Trump in particular has intensified attacks in recent days, calling Rubio “a lightweight choker” and “a highly overrated politician” in a series of tweets on the eve of the debate.
Rubio won a pointed exchange with Bush in the last meeting, but the target on his back is growing. To become a winner Tuesday night, he’ll have to respond to direct attacks from Trump, a far more skilled showman than Bush.
A quiet consensus is emerging among many Republicans that Ted Cruz is poised to become a major player in the 2016 contest. The freshman senator scored points in the last debate by lashing out at the moderators. But media bashing alone won’t give Cruz a path to his party’s nomination.
Cruz is courting the same bloc of voters now leaning toward Donald Trump and Ben Carson. To truly emerge as a top-tier candidate, he needs one of the two — if not both — to fall. Cruz has so far resisted attacking them publicly. With just two debates remaining before the Iowa caucuses, the Texas senator doesn’t have much time to make his move. Watch to see whether he continues to play nice or begins to distinguish himself from his outsider rivals.
The Associated Press contributed to this article
Looks like they will degenerate into a mob of ISIS terrorists each trying to behead the other. They should instead focus on their policies and why they are a better alternative to Hillary.
rodney burke says
that should be the top priority. This divisiveness is exactly when the dems want. But I think ultimately it won’t work. Each one has more to offer than any communist party member can even DREAM of.
GRACE KARAUSKY says
WHAT!!!!!!!! HOWDY DODIE IS BETTER THAN KILLARY.
I’m with you Richard the Republicans have to throw a curve to the media and stop this in fighting and get down to what an how they would govern this country the people want to know specifics not that the other candidates ways won’t work They need to lay out what they will tackle first and how they will do it
the moderatirs have a lot to with whats said and they obviously want conflict.
John Frost says
Cruz or Carson should jump on the band wagon with Trump as Vise Presidents going forward. That would make a real unbeatable team against Hillary if she doesn’t end up in jail as we hope she does?
jack cole says
i’ll say a prayer for her to go to JAIL,I DON’T LIKE LIERS she should have been put in jail and not aloud to run for ANY public office.
rodney burke says
Let us Intensify our prayers. I do that often and I post of FB that she should be hanged for treason and crimes against the USA. The Benghazi 4 are her direct responsibility and she should swing for it! NOT including everything ELSE she’s done!
Christine Garcia says
Jack Cole, you probably got so emotional about the Hildebeest that your spelling suffered a tad. All in all I totally agree with you! :-)))
Connie Webb says
I totally agree!!
Marilyn jay says
Carson does not need to jump on the bandwagon of Trump as he is ahead of the bandwagon ! Trump is trying hard to demoralize Carson but is not and will not deter his win.
DONALD THOMPSON says
all we need in the white house is another black liar yo take over from the black liar that is sitting in the white house that had the same amount of expert ability to run anything except tell stories. we are just trading one know nothing for another,
GRACE KARAUSKY says
Phil Sargent says
Cruz/Trump………Ted is the only consistent constitutional Conservative out there…He walks the walk and tells it like it is with both parties…..Don’t just take my word, check him out for yourselves.
I don’t understand why there is even any talk about Hillary still running. The woman should be in jail already. Boy she really does have skin as thick as an alligator doesn’t she? Like she has not one flicker of shame or embarrassment towards the public and office she serves with the things she’s done. Usually, when there is word of a scandal or wrong doing, most decent people will just move to the side or resign. But nooooo, not this power hungry devil woman. She acts like she’s deserving of a reward for what she’s done. Can’t believe the quality of people in government. Some of these have been in government and politics far too long and need to get out if they want to become human again.
You are so right, but I cannot for the life of me figure out why there are so many stupid people STILL wanting her. I can’t believe they think she is above it all, when there is so much in the past with both of the Clintons that has been corrupt for years, and she is even worse now with the lies. People in this country are really disappointing. I thought they were smarter by now.
You can’t fix STUPID
rodney burke says
that is why someone should exercise the balls to hang,
Donald Barnett says
Cruz would add the congressional know how and constitutional zeal to round out what is missing in both Trump’s and Carson’s backgrounds. So if he is not leading the ticket, I certainly hope he is on it.
i would love to see cruz as president ,but i believe that the dems are waiting for him to get the nomination and the they will say he is foreign born and get him disqualified
Philip Morken says
The moderators are afraid of Cruiz and try not to give him any more time than necessary. Cruiz is one of the most intelligent running for office and the republicans are afraid of him because he does what he says he is going to do. One of the few that has won a seat in the senate that hasn’t caved to the pressures of the old line RINO peers. He has experience that Trump and Carson don’t and yet has a mind of his own on how he will make America great again. Trump keeps saying he will make America great but not too many ideas. Although he would be so much better than the muslim we have now, if he were to win the nomination I would vote for him in a second compaired to the other crook that looks like will be the nomination for the democrats, but the American public is so stupid she will probably get in because she is willing to give away the store.
I wish that every candidate could get enough time to answer the same question that each get asked!!! They ask a question then they get to give another answer ONLY if their name is brought up??? How about what will you do to bring jobs back to the country? 1,2,3 – 12…..!! Everybody should have THEIR plan for every question asked!!
I. Dindoo Nuffin says
It’s easy to be number 1, all you have to do is enunciate what America wants. If you are a RINO, that will be impossible because a RINO wants to do what a RINO wants to do which is what the RNC/DNC want to do which is antithetical to what America wants.
Close the border, drive out the invading hordes. Reinvigorate the economy and stop feeding Wall street and start feeding Main street. Trump said it, Cruz says it but not as bluntly as Trump and Ben Carson also brings a great message. Rubio? Sorry, you were a Shrub protege and when you pulled out the dream card, you pulled the rug out from under your own feet.
I. Dindoo Nuffin says
No matter how confusing, how difficult this election for us looks, try to remember…..the libt ards only have Killary. Whew…I stopped laughing now. Seriously, we could field a kid in a hockey suit and stand a better chance than anything they could pull together for their ticket.
Jay Bell says
Unfortunately, Hillary already has a built-in election advantage in her solid base. We need to select a candidate that is strategic–as nearly ANY Republican (minus Jeb Bush) would be better for the country than another Clinton. I find it amusing that Jeb Bush’s new campaign slogan, “Jeb Can Fix It” has more than a touch of irony in it. One wag has suggested, “Oh, right, Jeb. If your brother and father had not helped to break it, it wouldn’t need fixing!” 😀
In the presidential debates, Hillary would make mincemeat of Trump (because she will be much more knowledgeable and is a much better debater) and the gentlemanly (but ineffectual) Carson, will come off as much less forceful than she is. Anyone who can pick away at her base (as Rubio can because he is Hispanic) while capturing the moderate, independent middle (as Rubio can) will prevail against dragon-lady, Hillary. Bill Clinton looked at the Republican field a long time ago and revealed privately that he hoped Rubio would be eliminated early because Rubio presented the greatest challenge to Hillary. Rubio is moderate politically (appealing to the very important middle-of-the road vote) even though he is a social conservative (appealing to the Republican right-wing) and is most apt to be able to unify the party.
Debbie Melton says
Yes Hillary is a much practiced liar, but I still Trump could win a debate with her. He has her number and I think that he would call a spade a spade and she would have a hard time pulling one over on him. iI know his IQ is higher.
Phil Sargent says
Take a good look at Ted Cruz….He’s the only consistent constitutional Conservative out there….Check him out……He does what he says….He walks the walk….That’s why Democrats/ Rino’s and the lame stream media despise him.
Ben Carson is too soft to be a President….He will not make a good leader on foreign affairs…Putin will walk all over him. Donald Trump will man handle Putin in the right way to stay put where he belongs and not mess with USA. The American people are waiting for Donald Trump to bring back America and its power. “America will be Great again”
rodney burke says
sadly I agree, Ben is too laid back to lead a country. I like but he has some policies that make me nervous like immigration and amnesty. No, no, that would be disastrous!
BEN CARSON IS NO SOFTY. The man is brilliant and he has a backbone of steel. He has embraced something that one of our former Presidents said, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.” (Teddy Roosevelt, I believe.) Ben Carson is a man of principle and will not stoop to mud-slinging. Do any of you not realize that any leader of anything always has the very best “lieutenants” around him? Specialists, so to speak? The finest assistants they can find? I once worked for one of the finest, wisest and most successful Governors of a large state in this country and I became very aware that the Governor obtained advice, ideas and in-put from many sources. The same goes for national office holders…. one problem for the current resident of the White House is that he has poor advisors in addition to his own bad ideas. Ben Carson has more experience outside the field of medicine than you are acknowledging. He and his wife established a non-profit charitable organization that is operational in all fifty states, and they don’t take a personal dime out of it. He sits on numerous Boards of Directors of some of the largest business organizations in the country. He has military (ROTC) training. Etc., etc., etc. Besides all that, he is “street smart.” ‘Nuff said.–
Justin W says
We are approaching a time when the public’s attention will shift to the holidays. Some of the marginal candidates may do better when attention shifts back to politics in January, assuming they can hold on for a few more weeks.
The RNC candidates need to unite against the Progressive, socialist, DNC candidate, Killary! If you spend time investigating the maggot, you’d have enough talking points to finally bury her and put her in jail where she belongs! Cruz, Rubio or Trump have the guts and wherewithall to do just that. We need to unite as a party to defeat the leftists or we’ll end up like Europe!
The political winds are bringing two candidates together to represent what the American people really want; no-nonsense leadership, sustain American traditions/culture with no regard for “political correctness”, enforcement of our laws and bringing back jobs! Only two of the Presidential candidates offer that “unwavering” stance; TRUMP/CRUZ 2016!
Please , no Carson, just be cause trump is white and Carson is black doesn’t mean you would be a better Christian if you vote for Ben Carson . Who I don’t believe he is a true Christian .Trump is a Christian very much so With a great looking family and values. Trump isn’t sneaky he tells you like it is , he is the brightest and very handsome. My instincts about Carson just like my instincts was about obummer was right on . Carson is a sly little devil tells you want you want to hear and feel sorry for him about his early background .just because you were poor doesn’t make you better than trump . Remember the movie Elmer gentry the preacher. Trump is the only one that can and will save our country , remember he has children and grandchildren to watch out for as he is getting older he realiveshe needs to save our country . Trump and Cruz
Now that everyone has voiced your opinion on this forum, please go to your representatives website and voice your opinions and concerns to them. You may send them an email or phone their offices. Do this daily or as often as you can, as we need to bombard them with our concerns. Please be respectful (I know it’s hard!) or they will not even see or hear about it, for their staff will withhold it. Yes, censorship is alive and well. Ask questions and give some constructive criticism. Give them some suggestions. They may be at a loss as to what to do now. In the meantime, pray for all you are worth to God, for He is the only one who can save us at this point. Pray for all of the people who are the leaders(?) of our government, that they do what is right for our country and it’s citizens. Pray for our citizens and those who are not citizens that they turn from their sins and do what is right for this country and it’s people. Implore all of your like minded friends and family to do the same. If we fail, the United States is doomed to total destruction. Genocide has already begun and will only escalate. God bless you all and may you bless God and America!
Phil Sargent says
Nicely put……However, God will not bless America until America blesses God !
Gere Whaley says
Carson is too laid back and inexperienced in government policies. Trump is too hotheaded, brash, speaks before he thinks! Could get us in a lot of hot water! Rubio is untrustworthy, no matter what he says now, he was part of the gang of 8 who wrote Obama’s Amnesty plan and also supports Hb1 and H2b guest worker programs for foreign nationals to take jobs that Americans should be filling. He would be a disaster for our economy. He may look good and talk big onstage, but I don’t think he is presidential material. Ted Cruz is the only man running that I believe would be rhe best for America overall. He is brilliant, (please read his bio), he has stood up numerous times against the establishment, he’s a constitutional scholar and hopes to get America back on track. I believe he can do it, if only given the opportunity!
Has this debate already been held, and if so, what station aired it?