GOP Debate Stakes & Homebrew – Top 3 Takeaways – September 27th, 2023
- Debate stakes. Entering the first Republican Presidential debate the biggest questions centered around who would be in it...including in the days leading up to it, whether it might include the Big Guy, not that Big Guy, but you know what I’m saying. There was also the intrigue factor regarding whether there might be a standout candidate or two who might separate themselves from the pack. Once it was learned that Trump wouldn’t be signing a loyalty pledge or stepping on the debate stage, opting for a Tucker Carlson interview on X instead, some wondered whether the former and perhaps future President of the United States’ decision to skip the debate would come back to bite him. Over the month that’s followed we know the answers to those questions. Two candidates, Nikki Haley and Mike Pence mildly improved their position within the pack, but no non-Trump candidate separated themselves from the pack. And most of all...the biggest winner of the first debate wasn’t in it. As I mentioned in my takeaways on August 25th, Ok, Trump won the debate. People have voted with their eyeballs and in terms of what people most wanted to see it was Trump. The initial ratings estimate for the first Republican Presidential debate came in at approximately 10 million people who watched Wednesday night’s debate live on Fox News (the final number placed the total at around 13 million viewers). A decent number? Yes, that’s 3-4 times the usual Wednesday night audience on the highest rated news channel. But why wasn’t it even larger? Probably because people were busy watching what turned out to be the main attraction on X. By the end of the Republican Presidential debate, the Tucker Carlson – Donald Trump prerecorded interview, which was 46 minutes long and first aired 5 minutes prior to the start of the debate, had 72 million views. That 72 to 10 margin is even larger than the 41 – point advantage that Trump had in the polls preceding the first debate. And that’s a good place to advance the conversation. Trump had a 41-point lead entering the first debate.
- A margin that’s far larger than any which has ever been overcome by a challenger. Where do we stand today? Trump’s advantage stands at a remarkable 43-points in an average of all nationally accredited polls. This reality, that Trump skipped the first debate and yet grew his already prohibitive lead in the process, makes the debate stakes in this second debate far less meaningful. What the polls currently show is that there could be only one Republican challenger to Trump in this race and his advantage would still be at least 14-points right now (and likely considerably higher than that). On that note, DeSantis’ debate with Gavin Newsom and his hair on November 30th, may prove to be more relevant in a presidential election context (they’re a potential 2028 match up) than his participation in tonight’s GOP debate. Regardless of party, 83% of presidential primary candidates who’ve polled at 35% or higher on this date have gone on to win their party’s nomination. Every candidate polling at 50% or above on this date (Trump’s at 57%) has won. Actual votes are still over three months away and nothing’s decided until votes are counted...but history nor trends are on the side of all who will be taking the debate stage tonight and as a result the debate stakes for the second debate don’t appear to be nearly as significant as they were heading into the first debate. At least if we’re talking about the debate’s relevance in determining the next President of the United States.
- Homebrew. I’m not talking ‘bout moonshine or anything that includes barley and hops. I’m not talking about coffee either, but it is something wet. Our weather. Tropical Storm Ophelia which formed off Florida’s coast was what some in the meteorological community refer to as a “homebrewed” storm. According to AccuWeather another could be on the way. You won’t find anything on the National Hurricane Center’s site, at least yet, but what you will find regularly on the radar for the next several days is red, yellow and green. And if AccuWeather’s right this could be round two for another tropical storm to take hold right off of our coast. According to AccuWeather’s chief meteorologist: The area where a tropical system may slowly take shape this week is located just south of a stalled front left behind in the wake of Ophelia. Stalled fronts near the southeastern U.S. are potential formation areas for homebrew tropical systems. Well, the stalled front is over us. The tropical moisture is too. That’s the recipe for this week’s homebrew – whether it officially becomes a storm or not. Expected rainfall totals are closing in three inches through the week’s end.