GOP Presidential Hopefuls Gear Up for High-Stakes January Debates Amid Trump's Dominance

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Updated Sunday, December 10, 2023 at 12:41 PM CDT

GOP Presidential Hopefuls Gear Up for High-Stakes January Debates Amid Trump's Dominance

As the Republican primary heats up, January is poised to be a pivotal month with three crucial GOP presidential debates on the calendar. Candidates are strategizing to challenge Donald Trump's frontrunner status and make their mark before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

The first debate, slated for January 10 in Iowa and hosted by CNN, sets the stage for contenders who have garnered at least 10% support in three national and/or Iowa polls, including one approved poll of likely Republican caucusgoers. This requirement delineates the playing field, leaving some hopefuls like former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson scrambling to meet the criteria.

CNN will also host a second debate in New Hampshire on January 21 at St. Anselm College, with the top three from the Iowa caucuses qualifying. Similarly, candidates must hit the 10% mark in three polls, one being an approved New Hampshire Republican poll. Prior to this, ABC News and WMUR-TV partner with the New Hampshire Republican Party to host a debate on January 18 at the same college, a move that has seen some controversy due to the state party's chair, Chris Ager, noting the CNN debate was organized without their involvement.

The Republican National Committee's decision to stay out of the debates has fueled speculation that it sees Trump as the inevitable nominee, potentially diminishing the debates' importance. However, candidates like Ohio entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis are committed to attending, with DeSantis eyeing both the Iowa and ABC debates.

Amidst the debate buzz, former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie has been vocal about his determination to continue his campaign, branding himself as a "truth teller" and often targeting Trump. Christie is working to solidify his position in New Hampshire, where he's in third place with 14% support, trailing Nikki Haley and Trump. His strategy involves winning over independent voters and minimizing campaign costs while focusing on young voters, as seen during a college tour at New England College in Henniker.

Christie's approach mirrors John McCain's surprise 2008 New Hampshire primary win, banking on a late-voter decision swing, a phenomenon noted by UNH pollster Andrew Smith. Despite competition, Christie is not swayed by Haley's presence, even as New Hampshire's Governor Chris Sununu weighs endors****ts for Christie, Haley, and DeSantis.

The upcoming debates are a crucial juncture for candidates lagging behind Trump to gain national exposure and court undecided voters like Dawn Lavallee, who is considering alternatives like Haley. The debates will serve as a platform for candidates to articulate their policies, address voter concerns, and position themselves as viable alternatives to Trump.

For some, the debates may be a final shot at making a significant impact before voting commences, with the potential to reshape the race dynamics. Candidates are keen on using this opportunity to boost their poll standings, attract media attention, and directly challenge each other's records and positions. As primary season approaches, these debates are an essential component of the candidates' strategies to build momentum and introduce themselves to a broader audience. The outcomes of these debates could dramatically alter the course of the Republican primary, creating new opportunities and challenges for the hopefuls vying for the nomination.

Conservative Bias:

Folks, what we have here is the liberal media, led by the likes of CNN, trying to manipulate the Republican primary to serve their own left-wing agenda. They're setting up these debates with arbitrary thresholds to exclude true conservative voices who don't conform to their establishment narrative. They're scared, scared that the real patriots like Trump, who put America first, will continue to dominate. So they scheme and plot, trying to prop up RINOs like Christie, hoping to dilute the conservative vote and push their globalist policies. But let me tell you, the American people see through this charade. They're tired of the swamp creatures and their media cronies trying to dictate who the GOP nominee should be. We're on to their games, and we're not buying the snake oil they're selling. It's time to rally behind the candidates who will fight for our values, our freedoms, and our country, not the puppets of the leftist media.

Liberal Bias:

Once again, we're witnessing the cowardice of the Republican establishment, which is so terrified of crossing their dear leader, Trump, that they're willing to sacrifice the integrity of their own primary process. CNN's debate criteria are a thinly veiled attempt to sideline any candidate who might dare to challenge Trump's stranglehold on the party. It's a disgrace, a travesty to democracy, that they are excluding voices that could bring a semblance of sanity back to the GOP. And then there's the RNC, sitting on the sidelines, complicit in their silence, effectively endorsing Trump's corrosive politics by refusing to engage. The likes of DeSantis and Christie are nothing but enablers, trying to ride the wave of Trumpism without getting their hands dirty, pandering to the base with hollow rhetoric. It's clear that the Republican Party has lost its way, its moral compass, and it's up to the true progressives to call out this farce. America deserves better than this parade of sycophants and power-hungry opportunists who have sold their souls for a shot at the White House.

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