OPINION: A needless fourth GOP debate

by Elad Hakim

Photo: Alamy

A fourth Republican presidential debate is scheduled for Dec. 6 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Like the previous three debates, the fourth debate will be another waste of time and money at a time when every Republican should pledge to support Donald Trump and focus on defeating Joe Biden and the Democrats.

Trump need not debate

President Donald J. Trump is the leading Republican candidate for president. He is obliterating all Republican contenders and is beating Joe Biden. Trump’s lead has only increased in recent weeks and months, further bolstering the irrefutable fact that Americans want Trump to be the Republican nominee for president.

Trump has not participated in any of the debates thus far, and he has not needed to do so. Since the day Trump announced his reelection bid, he has led all Republican contenders. This lead has only grown since then.

According to a recent Morning Consult poll, Trump is at 63 percent, which is 48 percentage points more than his nearest polling rival. Trump’s lead has grown despite the politicized/weaponized indictments and the efforts by some to remove his name from the ballot (there are currently active cases in Colorado and Minnesota).

The debates have not drawn significant attention or helped the other candidates

Viewership for each debate has declined. As reported by Politico, the first debate drew 12.8 million viewers, while the first GOP debate in August 2015, which included Trump, garnered 24 million viewers.

According to NBC News, the second debate only drew 9.3 million viewers, which, according to Nielsen ratings, “represents — by a significant margin — the lowest TV audience for any Republican presidential debate since the start of the 2016 cycle, when Trump first became a candidate.”

As reported by the Independent, “the third Republican presidential primary debate only drew in about 7 million viewers, making it the least-watched debate of the election season this year.”    

Not only have the debates failed to garner significant national attention from prospective voters, but they have also failed to cut into Trump’s overwhelming and consistent lead over the remaining candidates.

While some have speculated that one or more of the remaining candidates would possibly gain support as others dropped out of the race, a recent FiveThirtyEight poll reflects that even if supporters of the remaining candidates onstage were combined, they would still lose to Trump.

The people want Trump

Additionally, as reported by Newsmax, Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel recently stated that, even if Trump is convicted of a crime, she would support him as the party’s 2024 presidential nominee if the voters picked him. Assuming this is accurate, other Republican candidates who might have been hoping for the Republican Party to disregard/ignore the will of the people come primary time could be sorely disappointed.

For example, some of the remaining candidates seem to believe or hope that Trump will be convicted in one or more of the politicized criminal cases, thereby “forcing” the party to drop him and replace him with another candidate.

Some non-Trump candidates could also be banking on the possibility that Trump’s name will be removed from the ballot of one or more states pursuant to the Fourteenth Amendment. However, none of these items seem to matter if the RNC listens to the people and allows the people to decide who the Republican nominee will be.

A fourth debate is a waste of time and money

A fourth debate is merely a waste of time and money. Americans know the players and where they stand on the different issues. They know their temperaments, personalities, accomplishments, and shortcomings. They do not need to witness another debate where the candidates speak over one another, launch personal insults, and repeat stale talking points.

This is even more evident when the leading candidate, who has not even participated in any of the debates, continues to dominate the field.  

If the race was close and the other Republican candidates had a fighting chance to catch Trump, those pushing for another debate could make a more compelling argument in favor of a fourth round. However, the race is not close. It never was.

Trump is obliterating all candidates and is beating Biden.

If the party is seriously going to listen to the people and let the people decide, it should put an end to the debates, coalesce around Trump, and immediately turn its attention to defeating Biden and the Democrats.  

Mr. Hakim is an attorney and columnist. His articles have been published in The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, The Federalist, American Thinker, and other online publications. He is also a regular guest on OANN’s Tipping Point, and has appeared on Newsmax, Steadfast and Loyal Podcast with Allen West, The Dave Weinbaum Show, and Real America’s Voice. The views expressed herein are the author’s own and do not constitute legal advice.   

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