by Arturo V. Leon II as part of our Election 2016 “The Long Road to Nowhere” coverage
Tonight is the 2nd of what seems like countless GOP debates [I believe there to be 11 total during the primary season]. The second GOP debate airs on CNN, and again is split between an “A” team and “B” team. The divide is by the top 11 candidates on an 8 p.m. ET prime time debate and the remaining candidates who are polling above 1% debating at 6 p.m. ET. That means the list for the prime time event includes the following candidates; Mr. Trump, Gov. Bush, Gov. Walker, Gov. Huckabee, Dr. Carson, Sen. Cruz, Sen. Rubio, Sen. Paul, Gov. Christie, Gov. Kasich, Ms. Fiorina. Meanwhile at 6 p.m. you can watch; Sen. Santorum, Gov. Jindal, Gov. Pataki, Gov. Graham. Missing from the first debate are Gov. Rick Perry, who dropped out, and former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore, who is polling at 0.6% when I last checked.
Things to watch from the 6 p.m. debate:
- The candidates from the 6 p.m. debate attacking front runners and courting the Christian Right instead of attacking each other.
- The 6 p.m. debate candidates focusing on social issues.
- Sen. Graham being a military hawk. And also being a borderline robot.
- Gov. Pataki saying, “When I was Governor of NY we…” more than 5 times.
- Sen. Santorum brings up his polling numbers from 2012.
Things to watch from the prim time debate:
- The moderators letting the candidates go at each other a bit more than Fox News did [we are predicting this will not go well].
- Mr. Trump focusing less on immigration and focusing on more general terms of leadership and “making American great again.”
- Gov. Bush not taking Mr. Trump head on rather building on his own record. Expect a flurry of prepared answers from him.
- Ms. Fiorina painting herself as an outsider who can take on Sec. Clinton.
- The kid gloves that everybody will have with Ms. Fiorina. If any candidate stumbles in taking her head on or insults her expect everybody to bounce on that candidate as unable to take on Sec. Clinton in a general election.
- Gov. Walker to get more aggressive this debate.
- Dr. Carson will stumble on a policy question.
- Mr. Trump will attack the moderator if asked a foreign policy question.
- The field will try to chip away at Mr. Trump without engaging him directly.
- Gov. Kasich [Ohio] sounding moderate and reasonable but getting negative press the next day for his answer regarding Kim Davis answer.
- Sen. Cruz forcing the Government Shutdown to be an issue even though politically there are not enough votes to cut funding for Planned Parenthood. Nor does the GOP really want to shut the government down going into an election cycle.
- Gov. Huckabee wedging in Kim Davis into an answer to rile up the one base he is strong with, Fundamental Christian Conservatives [boy that’s a contradictory mouthful].
- More than one candidate stumbling through and not answering the question of where they stand on Kim Davis.
Predicted Losers: Gov. Kasich, Gov. Walker, Gov. Bush, & everybody from the 6 p.m. debate.
Predicted Winners: Mr. Trump, Sen. Rubio, & Ms. Fiorina
Follow us @LionizePodcast on Twitter for a live tweet of the @CNN #GOPDebate. You can also follow along on the Lionize Podcast Facebook page to read out live tweets. Print out our GOP Bingo or GOP Drinking Game and play along!
Check back tomorrow for our post debate coverage and too see how well our Second GOP Debate predictions panned out.