Donald Trump says he doesn’t worry about going to jail
Donald Trump has “nothing to gain” by appearing on stage in a showdown with his Republican rivals in the crunch GOP showdown, an expert has claimed, as he sails ahead of the other candidates in the polls.
The former president is skipping the next debate at Ronald Reagan’s presidential library in California this evening, and will reportedly instead visit Detroit to deliver a speech in front of union workers amid a widespread auto strike, according to a senior adviser.
Republican front-runner Trump also skipped the first debate last month. He sat down with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson for an interview, which aired at the same time as the debate.
Trump’s absence will leave the seven qualifying White House hopefuls from the party to go head-to-head in the televised verbal showdown as they look to inject momentum into their presidential election campaign.
But Andrew Sanders, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Relations at De Montfort University, believes Trump skipping the GOP is a “dismissive act”, adding he’s “so far ahead in the polls”.
He told Daily Express US: “The primaries have been an interesting test of just how much the GOP is Trump’s party at this moment in time.
“Trump skipping the debates that this is a dismissive act. He’s so far ahead in the polls that he has so little to gain from appearing on the stage with any of the candidates and, by and large, the candidates who are there haven’t managed to secure any real advantages in their aftermath.
“Trump’s net favorability remains over 50 percent, and he’s 10 percent clear of Ron DeSantis on this, with Vivek Ramaswamy another 10 percent further back.
“Senator Tim Scott and Former Ambassador Nikki Haley also have good favourability with Republicans generally, but lack any real support in polling.”
Mr Sanders is convinced Trump “doesn’t think very much of his opponents in the primary campaign” or tonight’s format for the debate, which he recently compared to a “job interview”.
He also believes that none of his Republican rivals are showing any signs of going for the vice presidential position on a “Trump-plus-one ticket”, leading him to pick someone else as a running mate.
The expert continued: “I don’t get the impression Trump thinks very much of any of his opponents in the primary campaign, or indeed the debate format which he recently dismissed as ‘a job interview’.
“Notably, there’s no evidence that any of them have really been angling for the Vice Presidential slot on a Trump-plus-one ticket.
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“On the assumption he wins the nomination, he’ll have to pick someone else as a running mate, something that will be a fascinating moment in modern US politics.
“Again, he has essentially cordoned off this avenue of criticism ahead of any possible attacks from his opponents.
“His polling lead has not been damaged by any of the indictments, though his favourability has wavered a little.”
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, former Vice President Mike Pence, biotech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, and Sen. Tim Scott of South Carolina have all made the cut.
However, the Republican National Committee (RNC) has confirmed that former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson did not qualify.
To qualify for the crunch debate, the White House hopefuls required at least three percent support in two national polls or three percent in one national poll in addition to two polls from four of the early-voting states Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada, and South Carolina.
The candidates also needed to pick up a minimum of unique 50,000 donors with at least 200 of those coming from 20 states or territories, as well as signing a pledge to support the party’s eventual 2024 nominee.
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