What Republican presidential hopefuls stand to gain — or lose — at second primary debate
Republican presidential hopefuls stand to gain a great deal from performing well in the second primary debate. A strong performance can help cement an individual’s place in the polls and earn crucial media attention and fundraising support. It can also help candidates to stand out as a thoughtful leader and a viable alternative to the current frontrunner.
On the other hand, a poor performance in the debate could have serious consequences for Republican hopefuls. Failing to articulate coherent policy positions, appearing out of touch with the electorate, or being easily bogged down in partisan bickering could cause voters and donors to flee. This could be especially damaging for candidates who, like Ben Carson, have staked part of their appeal in being above the fray, or for those who, like Donald Trump, are used to being able to dominate a room.