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Debate Déjà Vu
For some, this debate will be a final chance to break through. For others, it will be a test to see if they can build on small but growing momentum created in the last debate.
The race for the GOP nomination for president is beginning to heat up (or, if you’re a pessimist, wrapping up), and with that comes debate season. With the second debate scheduled for tonight, voters will have yet another chance to evaluate the field without Donald Trump.
Seven candidates will appear on stage tomorrow night. Without Trump, the focus of the debate will likely be on Ron DeSantis and Nikki Haley, the two runners-up to the ex-president. Vivek Ramaswamy will also return to the stage, where I suspect he will once again serve as a fill-in for Trump—and once again a replacement punching bag.
As for the rest of the candidates on stage, tonight will serve as a make-or-break moment. Chris Christie and Doug Burgum have as much chance of winning the nomination as I do, but for Mike Pence and Tim Scott, this is their last chance to break through.
Given the shadow Donald Trump will cast over this debate despite his absence, I don’t expect much to come out of tonight. It will be interesting to see if DeSantis can make a statement, or if Haley can build upon the momentum she gained after the first debate. The silver lining of this debate, however, will be its representation of what the party could look like if Trump was off the stage.
The Daily Saucer is our place for freelance contributors and editorial staff to offer short takes on the news cycle, quick observations on the issues, and brief thoughts on broader topics. The views offered in this space reflect only the personal views of the authors.