Republican presidential contenders will meet Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif., for a debate. International Business Times spoke with Jamie Chandler, a professor of political science, to find out what important and/or interesting things viewers should look for.
The Candidates Will Focus On Attacking Rick Perry
“It’s crucial for them to erode his poll lead, as it has become more difficult for Mitt Romney and Michele Bachmann to garner attention since Perry has entered the race.”
Perry Will Underperform Expectations
“Perry will have a difficult time offering palatable responses on some of his controversial stances on issues. He may also be unprepared, as he has been spending his time handling the Texas wildfires.”
Perry May Come Across As Too Volatile And Testy
“His debating style tends to be swing from lackluster to volatile; for example, during his 2010 Texas Gubernatorial debates against Republicans Senator Kay Bailey Hutchinson and political activist Debra Medina, Perry showed a cavalier, frat-boy attitude toward the moderators. If Perry comes across as too volatile, he runs the risk of being compared to Rick Santorum.
Mitt Romney’s Business Experience Will Play Well
“Romney’s jobs speech yesterday will add to his performance tonight. He will come across as prepared and organized. He will contrast his business experience against Rick Perry’s career-politician background; Perry will be challenged to offer a compelling response to this.”
The Debate Will Have Little Effect On Current Rankings
“The gap between Romney and Perry will narrow (they are currently tied when considering the 5 percent (plus or minus) polling margin of error). But it’s unlikely Bachmann will gain any ground. Her campaign is faltering. The departure of her top two managers will have deleterious effect on her long-term viability.”
This Will Be One Of The Last Appearances For Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman And Herman Cain
“These three are having difficult time qualifying for upcoming debates because of their low poll numbers. If they don’t drop out soon, they will definitely do so by release of their third quarter campaign finance reports in early October.”