The country’s most popular new reality TV series, The GOP Debates, is back tonight for Episode 3. The hit series premiered with a whopping 24 million viewers in August on Fox News Channel. Episode 2, on CNN in September, clocked 23M. Tonight’s episode, imaginatively titled “The Republican Presidential Debate: Your Money, Your Vote” by CNBC, airs at 8 PM ET on the cable net.
Since the last episode, Donald Trump has lost his lead in Iowa, and one national poll, to retired neurosurgeon Sleepy, aka Ben Carson. Trump comes to tonight’s debate after spending Tuesday in Iowa trying to win the hearts and minds of more locals with such lines as “What the hell are you people doing to me?” and joking (we think), “If I lose Iowa, I will never speak to you people again.”
The stakes tonight could not be higher for the former Celebrity Apprentice star but also for some of the career politicians clumped at the bottom of polling. Newly made-over for this debate, in hope of having a breakout moment, are Ohio Gov. John “Sick and Tired of This Nonsense” Kasich and former Florida Gov. Jeb “Grumpy as Heck” Bush. Joining them onstage at the University of Colorado in Boulder are Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul.
Tonight’s episode will be moderated by CNBC anchors Carl Quintanilla and Becky Quick and chief Washington correspondent John Harwood. The business network insists tonight’s debate will be laser-focused on economics and money matters. Yes, that will make it more challenging for Trump to work into the conversation that Carson is a Seventh-day Adventist, as Trump has taken to doing by way of suggesting the new front-runner’s religious affiliation is too extreme for the White House.
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