A Preview of the GOP Debate

John and Kaushik preview what is to come in tonight’s GOP Debates. The transcript of our Facebook conversation has been lightly edited to fix typos and make us seem much smarter than we are.

Kaushik Goswami:
Hey John, looking forward to the debates tonight?
I say “debates” because I just remembered there is still an undercard happening

John Danger Kelly:
Right I forgot about the exciting undercard debate where Fiorina, Huckabee, and Santorum will fight for who gets 10th place in the Republican Primary

Kaushik:
There won't even be Lindsey Graham to provide any entertainment either

John:
But this will be an interesting undercard debate if for no other reason than Rand Paul is absent and Fiorina got knocked back down to the lower debate
I wonder if they too will have an empty podium for Paul

Kaushik:
I doubt they will, but you never know
Do you think any of the three stands a shot of making it back to the main stage?

John:
Fiorina has shown that she has the debate skills to take down her opponents and the debates have been the only thing keeping her alive in polls. However, unlike when Christie was pushed into the undercard debate, the media has not covered her demotion because of Paul's vocal protest of being pushed to this JV status. I doubt that she will be joining the main stage again anytime soon.

Kaushik:
Yeah, all three of these candidates are dead in the water at this point, unless something radical changes in the race
I think the main event may be the most exciting debate yet, even more so than the first GOP debate

John:
There is a lot at stake and with only 17 days until the Iowa Caucus, this is the last chance for a lot of the candidates to save their campaigns *cough* Jeb Bush *cough*
What do you think Kaushik? Will this debate shake up the race at all?

Kaushik:
I am not sure there will be that much of a change in terms of the polls due to this debate, but it will definitely answer some questions about which candidates are in it for the long haul and which ones are on their way out. It is 2 weeks until Iowa and at this point people are paying attention to the campaign

John:
That might be the biggest take away. Voters don't really pay attention to the race before January, but attention to the primaries begins to sky rocket right around now. This might be the silver lining for some more moderate candidates like Kasich and Christie who are in a 4 way tie in New Hampshire

Kaushik:
Fewer candidates on the stage means more speaking time for everyone. Maybe Kasich will not interrupt everyone this time around.

John:
Doubt it!

Kaushik:
Did you see the NYT article on Ted Cruz's loan from Goldman Sachs?
I think that is going to be an important moment of the debate
Because the news is fresh and people haven't formed their opinions on it one way or another
If Cruz can provide a good answer when it comes up it'll probably go away. But if he can't, then he's in trouble

John:
I think this might be the most interesting thing to watch tonight because Donald Trump has been raising eyebrows with his attacks on Cruz about this undisclosed loan from Goldman Sachs
However, in the last debate Trump was calling Cruz a maniac days before the debate and stepped away from the attack once asked about it from a moderator, calling Cruz a good guy

Kaushik:
This is the perfect attack for Donald Trump to make. I think he is going to be aggressive tonight vs Cruz, and vice versa. This attack showcases Trump's big point that everyone else is susceptible to big money except him. Even Ted Cruz took money from Goldman Sachs!

John:
Yeah I think you are right, unless he has a good answer for it like he was giving the money to poor starving children, then Cruz's chances in Iowa might be done. Especially with the birther questions following his every statement this past week.
The question that I have is: will this be the debate that someone other than a scared Jeb Bush and a loud John Kasich takes on Trump. There is only 17 days till Iowa and Trump looks pretty formidable. I bet Cruz, Christie, and Rubio will step up their Trump attacks

Kaushik:
I know you are a fan of Chris Christie attacking Donald Trump but I don't think that will happen tonight. Every second he spends attacking Trump he isn't attacking Rubio or Bush, who he is more competing with right now. It doesn't matter if he makes Trump look bad if he still finishes behind Rubio in New Hampshire
Speaking of Rubio, I really hope he wears his boots tonight

John:
Yeah that is something that I don't get with the GOP attacks. There is so much to attack Rubio on. His lack of experience, moderate positions on immigration, lack of Senate attendance, and they choose his cowboy boots because the heel is too big!
The Republicans need to move past their fragile concept of masculinity because they are starting to sound a lot like my high school bully
But maybe that's just me talking

Kaushik:
I think part of the reason is that they are trying to knock him off his game. If he gets flustered than he may make an unforced error. I think this applies to attacks on Ted Cruz as well
Both are strong debaters and speak pretty well. If they can get one of them angry and to say something stupid it undermines an important part of their appeal
That doesn't work with Trump because that is exactly the reaction you expect from him...his supporters don't care

John:
I think this will be a bad night for Ted Cruz then because he has given weak and stumbling answers in the past couple of weeks on his immigration policy flip-flop and awkward response to questions about his birth place. It is not difficult to make Ted Cruz act awkward, it might be the only thing that comes natural to him
That and Simpsons impersonations

Kaushik:
So who will be more awkward: him or Bush?
Ted Cruz has been able to sell the angry and indignant act before, so maybe he will try to go that route this time instead of trying to laugh off the attacks on him

John:
Awkward is Bush's middle name
It was part of a rebranding effort to get away from W. Bush
I wonder if the attacks on Sanders will get louder in this debate following his rise in the polls and his increased media coverage

Kaushik:
If instead of attacking Hillary Clinton, if they attack "the Democrats"
Just saying the word Clinton is red meat to the GOP base, so I imagine she will be mentioned a lot

John:
I bet if anything the attacks on Obama will be more because of the State of the Union on Tuesday. But you are right, all of those attacks will be Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton said in the same breath
Hilary Clinton is hated by the GOP, Bernie Sanders just seems like an adorable old crazy man

Kaushik:
I feel like Bernie is seen as crazy as opposed to a bad person or evil

John:
The one person we haven't touched is Ben Carson. His campaign has been in free fall and he is now polling less than 10% in Iowa. Do you think he can do anything to save his campaign at this point?

Kaushik:
I think there's a reason we haven't talked about him. The only news he is going to be making is about how his campaign has further unraveled

John:
This is going to be a really competitive debate and I think you are right, Ben Carson can't do anything at this point except for try and slow down how fast he is falling. A win at this point is out of the question

Kaushik:
He is not a dominant enough personality or speaker to stand out amongst the group

John:
The audience loves him though and they normally defend him against moderators when they ask him questions about his ridiculous statements like the one where he claimed that "Pyramids were designed to store grain"
But as NPN has pointed it out, Carson needs to do well in the debate and be loud enough to get on the highlight reel tomorrow and I don't see the latter part happening

Kaushik:
Definitely not. Anything else you want to talk about pre debate?

John:
Let's talk about Poll Predictions
Trump up or down?

Kaushik:
Am I allowed to say neither? Gun to my head, I say up

John:
Christie up or down?

Kaushik:
He goes up. "Trump lite" will sell

What do you think?

John:
Up in NH but any gains will be erased by the time the election starts going there
Cruz still standing or on life-support after the debate?

Kaushik:
He will be standing strong. I don't think he is going to disintegrate on the stage. Down in the polls a little, but not that much. But even 3 points could cost him Iowa

John:
I am guessing he will still be standing due to his support among Evangelicals and they don't have a great 2nd choice at this point with Carson down and Huckabee nowhere to be see. But his chance of winning Iowa will definitely look slimmer after tonight

Kaushik:
Alright, I think that about does it for now. Good talk, John!

John:
Follow us on Twitter @NonProphetNews where we will be live tweeting the debate and providing you with funny commentary and insightful points. Enjoy the debate and don't get too sad about America's future!
Good Talk Kaushik!

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