What Can Thursday Do for the Rest of Them?

Thursday’s debate will be one big “jump ball” according to Marc Thiessen, the former George W. Bush speechwriter. How else to explain Carson’s rise in the polls aside from pointing out how Ben’s “good debate performance … vaulted” the doctor from unknown to second place in the latest polls? And that means that anyone, say Jeb Bush for example, with a good jump and a solid performance can regain momentum and climb again in the polls.

It seems Thiessen overestimates Ben Carson's jump-ball ability. Carson went for about 40 minutes without having a word or question directed at him, as a he quietly but effectively pointed out, when they finally got back to him in the opening debate in Cleveland. He finished strong with his last answer, but he was off the radar for much of the debate. Can you really then credit a good answer to his final question for a more-than-doubling in the polls? Maybe Ben - like Bernie Sanders - earned it the hard way: talking to and listening to voters around the country. And letting them know who he is. That means letting them know what he stands for and why he stands for things like a flat tax or health savings accounts. But with Carson, it seems to be a case that people find him trustworthy and likable and capable. That comes speech by speech and by means of one-on-one's. Not from one "good" debate performance where he was hardly present on screen.

Further, Carson's policy ideas - debt reduction, a flat tax, health care savings accounts, education reforms - will now receive far greater scrutiny. As will his faith. Maybe that will hurt him, maybe not. If voters trust his leadership, they may be willing to give his policies a chance, or at least a good listen, despite or even because the policy wonks have decided those policies lack detail. And his policy ideas seem to be gathering support. But Carson's rise seems to owe little to his opening debate performance, as large as the audience was. It surely did not hurt him, but it is more likely that the non-debate work has brought him to where he is.

Does Thursday's debate offer hope for remaining contenders who have plunged or stayed marginal in the polls? The aftermath of this debate will start to answer that question in a more convincing way than the first debate. Convincing that is, for the skeptics who insist Trump and Carson will be reeled in and that another candidate, any other candidate, will "bump" them from the leading perch they now occupy. For Trump's, and Carson's, supporters the convincing seems to have already been done.

Posted by Keeley at September 15, 2015 8:11 PM
Comments
Comment #398649

The debate is on Wednesday. Why don’t you delete my comment and fix the title of this article?

Posted by: phx8 at September 15, 2015 9:33 PM
Comment #398670

It felt a little bit like a debate to decide if Trump could be president and instead of multiple candidates we just had a mixture of journalists and politicians asking questions that either directly related to Trump or quickly pivoted to how Trump felt about the question. Crazy. I like it. It’s interesting. The guy is a goon but the way he’s appealing to pissed off white voters is hilarious and amazing.

Posted by: Adam Ducker at September 17, 2015 10:51 AM
Comment #398673

Adam,
I thought the debate was way too long, and it felt like Tapper was constantly trying to start fights between candidates by the way he phrased his questions. It looked like politics as entertainment, and while that might be both amazing and hilarious, I don’t think it is good for the body politic to reduce our country to this.

It is almost as if the GOP is auditioning people for ideologue-in-chief, rather than someone who can actually govern. Only Kasich (and possibly Jeb!) seem to embrace the concept of responsible governing in a two-party system. The rest of the conservatives seem to be caught up in an elaborate fantasy where they will impose their ideology upon the rest of the country, with no need to compromise or work together or even have any political experience in the first place. It really is a bit bizarre.

Posted by: phx8 at September 17, 2015 11:15 AM
Comment #398675

Speaking of bizarre… One of the oddest moments was when Jeb! declared that unlike Obama, his brother had ‘kept this country safe.’ The line met with a lot of applause. It rather weirdly ignored the fact that 9/11 took place on his brother’s watch.

It is important to remember the fault of 9/11 rests with the attackers, and not with us, the victims. Nevertheless, Bush was specifically warned a month prior that Bin Laden was planning an attack on American soil, and Bush completely ignored the warning. It happened on his watch. He failed to keep the country safe. This is just another one of those strange conservative fantasies.

Posted by: phx8 at September 17, 2015 11:24 AM
Comment #398678

Specifically warned” implies Bush knew OBL was planning to fly planes into the towers on 9-11.
Completely ignored” the warning implies Bush knowingly allowed it to happen.

Yeah, those “strange conservative fantasies” sure are something, aren’t they. LOL!

“It rather weirdly ignored the fact that 9/11 took place on his brother’s watch.”

Actually, it just states the fact that there was not another successful attack after the one on 9-11.

Having to resort to Truther “facts” and opinion now Phx8? LOL!!!

Posted by: kctim at September 17, 2015 11:51 AM
Comment #398679
It is almost as if the GOP is auditioning people for ideologue-in-chief, rather than someone who can actually govern. Only Kasich (and possibly Jeb!) seem to embrace the concept of responsible governing in a two-party system.

Seems to me,phx8, the conservative propaganda machine has left its mark. Failed idiocracy and all they have repeated it enough that people refuse to see the facts in front of them. Everyone one of the 16 still have to play to their voters and their voters want this inanity.


The rest of the conservatives seem to be caught up in an elaborate fantasy where they will impose their ideology upon the rest of the country, with no need to compromise or work together or even have any political experience in the first place. It really is a bit bizarre.

True. Did you realize, speaking of imposing their idiocracy on others, that the JAde Helm exercise ended earlier this week and martial law wasn’t declared, Obama didn’t take over Texas or…. well…. anything. Yet one third of repubs thought it was the Obama administration declaring modern day martial law! Half of all tea party voters thought Texas was going to be invaded by the good ol USofA!

Cruz actually inquired into it as we can’t trust the current administration, despite zero evidence to support this nonsensical idiocracy. Yet he is on the stage at the debate, In the real world he should have hung his head and bowed out of the debate and gave up public life, but not being a statesmen he instead moves forward imposing his will upon the truly foolish. But that is what these candidates are up against. The President Comancho from Idiocracy thing was funny but well it hits real close to the Tea Party and the propagandist that influences them, centuries early.

Posted by: j2t2 at September 17, 2015 12:56 PM
Comment #398680

How could Obama take over Texas when the Bush coup of 2000 made him President for life? Don’t you guys remember? Bush put blacks back in chains, outlawed abortion and pushed all those old people over the cliffs?

Posted by: kctim at September 17, 2015 1:15 PM
Comment #398683

Good question kctim, but I don’t remember GWB putting blacks in chains etc.., how many governors representatives and senators were involved with this? I remember worrying Cheney and GWB were Fascist who had little respect for the law, the constitution and our Country. I sure was glad to see them get on the airplane and get out of town when it was time. I wonder about Jeb him being the brother and all.


But lets say you are correct, the question you ask is pertinent, but as I thought Info Wars and Cruz and others were out of it I would hope you could ask them that as they were the ones who told us Jade Helm 15 was the administrations plan to declare martial law.

BTW did 32% of dems believe this stuff you are saying, and 50% of jeez who do I compare the Tea Party to?

Posted by: j2t2 at September 17, 2015 1:40 PM
Comment #398685

Aw, come on J2, don’t get all shy on us now.

Everybody knows Bush hates black people and purposly let them die in Katrina, just like he told OBL he could fly planes into those towers.
It was Biden who said Romney was going to put black folks back in chains, but since this administration blames everything else on Bush, I think Biden ‘really’ meant to say Bush.

Who do you compare the Tea Party to? Liberals. But since the TP isn’t half as nuts as liberals, I guess that’s a little unfair.

Did 32% of dems believe the leftist conspiracies? Na. But I guarantee 99.9% of liberals believe the ‘Bush stole the 2000 election in a coup,’ ‘coming theocracy,’ and ‘1%’ conspiracy theories.

But yeah, let’s mock those who question government, they are the ones who are really nuts.

Posted by: kctim at September 17, 2015 2:06 PM
Comment #398700

What seems to be the problem with the left in the blue column? It’s been a month with no posts. Can’t the left find anything positive to discuss regarding Hillary or Sanders? They have plenty to say about the republican candidates; but nothing on Hillary. One would think they have joined her financial supporters and bailed on her. LOL

Posted by: Blaine at September 17, 2015 9:06 PM
Comment #398708

There are many things I’d like to write about, but with the start of the new semester, I am facing lots of pressure from my job and my coursework. I’ll be taking my comprehensive exams in January and I need to start preparing for that now. Until February, I’m going to be limited to quick comments like this one.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 18, 2015 11:30 AM
Comment #398725

Good for you Warren. Study hard and work hard…the payoff is tremendous. Good Luck.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 18, 2015 3:33 PM
Comment #398819

Royal Flush,

Thank you for your words of encouragement.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 19, 2015 7:30 AM
Comment #398847

Trump’s response to the (apparent) plant’s comments in his town hall. Would Obama come to the defense of Trump? If so, Obama could start with his own press secretary, who has had many things to say about Trump. Secondly, is it Trumps job to defend Obama every time someone says something against him? The answer to both questions is no.

On another subject; Debbie Wasserman Shultz was heckled at a DNC rally. It appears the Democratics want more debates. Lol

Posted by: Blaine at September 20, 2015 9:14 AM
Comment #398849

“Trump’s response to the (apparent) plant’s comments in his town hall.”

Trump picked the questioners himself.

Rocky

Posted by: Rocky Marks at September 20, 2015 10:46 AM
Comment #398853

RM, you’re mistaking Trump for Obama and Hillary; oh, wait a minute, Hillary don’t take questions from the audience or the press. In fact she puts the press in rope corrals. Perhaps you could tell us the color of the sky in your world.

Posted by: Blaine at September 20, 2015 12:55 PM
Comment #398862

Oh noooozzz! A fire has broken out at the three ring circus, and the clown car full of presidential candidates is racing around trying to put it out with sprites from their fake flowers, but it isn’t working!

Trump’s Birther past has come back to haunt him, and now he is neck deep in it.

Carson has announced a Muslim cannot be president. Because. Just because. This ignores the constitutional prohibition on placing a religious test for office. That isn’t stopping Carson.

The bigotry and hatred and racism of the GOP is on full display, and no one can stop it. Republicans and conservatives have set loose a Frankenstein monster, and now, no one can find the off button.

It gets worse, if possible. The Pope will address Congress in a few days, and conservatives and Republicans are bracing themselves, because they know what is coming- their faux Christianity is about to make hard contact with a real Christian, and even worse, the Pope is a scientist with a masters in chemistry, and he is about to give them a lecture on Global Warming.

Meanwhile, Trump continues to lead in the polls, and Fiorina has gained, based in part on a blatant lie she told about Planned Parenthood during the debate; that, combined with her record, does not bode well for the party.

And Gov. Scott Walker dropped out. As Trump would say, ‘what a loser.’

Posted by: phx8 at September 21, 2015 5:51 PM
Comment #398872

“Carson has announced a Muslim cannot be president.”
“Trump’s Birther past has come back to haunt him, and now he is neck deep in it.”

More bullshit from the left crowd. Not worth discussing the spin.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 22, 2015 12:52 PM
Comment #398873

No kidding, Royal. It gets more pathetic with each passing day.

Posted by: kctim at September 22, 2015 1:31 PM
Comment #398874

Tim, you and I both know that the lefties writing about Rep candidates are only doing so because they love reading what they write. Self love is apparent and it seems impossible for them to be objective; merely subjective.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 22, 2015 1:51 PM
Comment #398875
Tim, you and I both know that the lefties writing about Rep candidates are only doing so because they love reading what they write. Self love is apparent and it seems impossible for them to be objective; merely subjective.

Duh. It is an affliction that we all have.

More bullshit from the left crowd. Not worth discussing the spin.

Carson said Islam was inconsistent with the Constitution in a manner that Christianity is not. Care to explain how that means Carson believes a Muslim can be President?

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 22, 2015 2:56 PM
Comment #398876

It’s his OPINION Warren. Last time I checked Carson and all other Presidential candidates still have 1st amendment rights.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at September 22, 2015 3:12 PM
Comment #398877

Of course he is entitled to his opinion, but surely an opinion like that ought to cause concern among anyone who supports the US Constitution.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 22, 2015 3:23 PM
Comment #398878

Warren, A lot of STUPID OPINIONS come from both sides. LET the VOTERS Decide!!!

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at September 22, 2015 3:28 PM
Comment #398879

Brace yourselves, conservatives, because the next debate will be fun. It is very likely the GOP candidates will be asked if they believe Obama is a US citizen, and if he is a Muslim. This is a huge problem for the GOP. According to the latest CNN poll, 43% of Republicans believe Obama is a Muslim. The latest PPP poll shows even higher numbers, with Trump having @ 60% of his supporters believing those things.

When asked in a debate, the GOP presidential candidates will have to choose: support the obvious bigotry behind the Birthers and gain all that sweet sweet support from the GOP base, but render themselves unelectable in a general election; or deny Birtherism, play the long game, and set up for the general election. It is a real problem, because doing the decent thing and acknowledging Obama’s Christian faith and American citizenship risks losing the hate-filled GOP base.

Virulent opposition to Obama on virtually all things has led to this. The base will not be appeased. They are close to a majority, and the Limbaughs and Hannitys and others have been encouraging this kind of thing for years.

Enjoy the dilemma. You all deserve this.

Posted by: phx8 at September 22, 2015 3:30 PM
Comment #398880

“Care to explain how that means Carson believes a Muslim can be President?”
Posted by: Warren Porter at September 22, 2015 2:56 PM

Dr. Carson has already addressed that. You can Google it if you wish.

Enjoy the dilemma. You all deserve this.
Posted by: phx8 at September 22, 2015 3:30 PM

Just one more wet dream from our leftie friend.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 22, 2015 3:54 PM
Comment #398881
A lot of STUPID OPINIONS come from both sides. LET the VOTERS Decide!!!

And so they shall. Here on WatchBlog, we have many such voters participating, yet no one on the Right apart from John has repudiated the stupid ideas that come from Carson (or Trump).

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 22, 2015 3:58 PM
Comment #398882

Warren, I could care less about what idiotic statements come out of Trump or Carson. To be honest my choice is Kasich.

Posted by: Rich KAPitan at September 22, 2015 4:04 PM
Comment #398883

RF,
Lucky you. Carson retracted his comments: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/09/22/ben-carson-softens-tone-on-muslims-says-he-was-taken-out-of-context/

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 22, 2015 4:06 PM
Comment #398884

Phx8
Your leading candidate is a proven liar.
The old white guy giving her a run for her money is a self avowed socialist.
Their supporters believe white Christians are the enemy that should be feared most.

But what a candidate thinks of a dude who changed his name to Hussein and who isn’t even running, is THE huge problem the GOP faces? LOL

The candidates who have a chance will acknowledge Obama is an American, they will also pander to muslims, and this base you go on and on about will fall in line.

Posted by: kctim at September 22, 2015 4:06 PM
Comment #398885
a dude who changed his name to Hussein

Who changed his name to Hussein?

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 22, 2015 4:11 PM
Comment #398886
Warren, I could care less about what idiotic statements come out of Trump or Carson. To be honest my choice is Kasich.

I agree 100%. We shouldn’t be granting those clowns any attention. The question is when will the Republican primary voter gain the cojones to tell pollsters they support someone else.

Posted by: Warren Porter at September 22, 2015 4:15 PM
Comment #398887

From Warren’s link; “(Carson) defended his original position, telling Fox host Sean Hannity that the United States could not have leaders whose religion might conflict with constitutional principles.

“If you’re a Christian and you’re running for president and you want to make this into a theocracy, I’m not going to support you. I’m not going to advocate you being the president,” he said.

Warren, do you agree or disagree with this position taken by Carson?

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 22, 2015 4:34 PM
Comment #398888

Warren, forgive me, but I do not keep up to date on the whole Obama-birther-muslim thing. If one of their theories is not that the President changed his name, then I was wrong.

My point was that Obama is not running for President and I don’t believe what people think about him is going to play all that big of a role in how people vote.

Posted by: kctim at September 22, 2015 4:40 PM
Comment #398892
do you agree or disagree with this position taken by Carson?

I absolutely do. No one, be they Muslim, Christian, Jewish or anything else, shall use the government’s cudgel to enforce the laws of any religion. Muslims are just as capable as Christians at doing this, which means they are just as capable at failing to do it too.

Warren, forgive me, but I do not keep up to date on the whole Obama-birther-muslim thing. If one of their theories is not that the President changed his name, then I was wrong.
No, it looks like I am the one to blame for failing to keep up with the birther conspiracies. Still, this election is going to be about Obama (in part). Whoever the Democrats nominate is likely going to campaign on continuing Obama’s legacy. Whether or not voters approve of Obama will be very important come November 2016. Posted by: Warren Porter at September 22, 2015 4:58 PM
Comment #398893

” do you agree or disagree with this position taken by Carson?

I absolutely do.”

Good Warren. Every American should.

Posted by: Royal Flush at September 22, 2015 5:01 PM
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