Tomorrow’s GOP debate at the Reagan Library may be the best chance for some of the candidates who enjoy the most modest of support to make their case to the American people. It may also be their only chance.
All ten of the declared candidates will be square off on equal footing to a national audience in the 90 minute debate sponsored by MSNBC and ThePolitico.com, starting at 8pm EST. Reports are that Nancy Reagan will be present, and the Reagan Library will provide the backdrop as all the candidates will try to dress themselves in the mantle of The Gipper.
However, there is another side to this coin of equal footing and equal opportunity. This may be the only chance that some of the candidates that comprise what could be called “the second string” to see game time. Fox News, along with the South Carolina GOP Party have agreed that candidates must have attained a threshold of a one percent national standing in ratings, and having filed papers in South Carolina. This puts several – up to seven – of the candidates on the bubble.
Those who are on the bubble include, Rep. Ron Paul, Sen. Sam Brownback, Gov. Mike Huckabee (ARK), former Gov. Jim Gilmore (VA), Rep. Duncan Hunter, Rep. Tom Tancredo, and former Gov. Tommy Thompson. All of these current candidates hover near or barely above 1% in the aggregate of national polls, and this puts pressure upon them to try and carve out a niche in the GOP Party which seems to be crystalizing among former NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Sen. John McCain, and a potential run by former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson. Although Mit Romney is not in danger of failing to make the cut, and his polling is rising, he is still hovering at about 10%.
Other than those who are their most ardent supporters little is known about the “second string” – and this is not meant to intone perjurative – but is meant as a statement of political reality. I will be posting tonight the “stated positions” of the listed candidates aka”The Second String” from their websites and from “On the Issues”. I expect KUDOS! 🙂