With Trump Out of the Debate, Who Will Dominate?

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Republican frontrunner Donald Trump has officially announced that he won’t be participating in the Republican Debate tomorrow, due to his (totally not sexist and unreasonable) dislike for moderator Megyn Kelly. Trump’s decision has been confirmed by both his campaign, as well as Fox News. So, given that the big-mouthed millionaire has been dominating the debates thus far, who will step up to fill the vacuum?

Trump not being present for the debate may change the overall flavor of the night by quite a bit. It certainly could have an impact on disappointing not-so-prodigal son Governor Jeb Bush, who has had many of his most memorable and heated campaign moments while taking jabs at Trump. It also could affect Senator Marco Rubio, who is currently coming in third in most polls, and has been pretty critical of Trump in past debates.

But, it seems like most eyes will be on Senator Ted Cruz, who has been coming in second to Trump in most of the recent polls, although those second place results have been by quite a wide margin. In national polls, including CNN/ORC, Fox News, NBC News, and other leading news outlets, Trump has seen a lead over Cruz that ranges from about 13 percent to 22 percent. However, in Iowa, which will be the first state to caucus next Monday, Trump holds a far slimmer lead–ranging from about 2-11 percent. In New Hampshire–the second primary–the gap between Trump and Cruz looks only slightly smaller than national results. Given that the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primaries are so soon, this may Cruz’s last chance to make up some of that ground.

However, Cruz’s success will depend on whether or not he also shows up tomorrow night. He has now challenged Trump to their own, one-on-one debate. However, it could be a mistake for Cruz to sit this one out, given that everyone will be looking to him to see how he handles a Trump-less stage.

So, Law Street readers, what do you think? Will Cruz dominate tomorrow night’s debate? Or will it be a missed opportunity for the man currently in second in most GOP polls?

Cast your vote in the poll below:

Anneliese Mahoney
Anneliese Mahoney is Managing Editor at Law Street and a Connecticut transplant to Washington D.C. She has a Bachelor’s degree in International Affairs from the George Washington University, and a passion for law, politics, and social issues. Contact Anneliese at amahoney@LawStreetMedia.com.



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