The Last Hoorah Before Iowa
It is hard to believe, but the Iowa Caucus for the 2016 presidential election is right around the corner. Now, more than ever, candidates have to make a lasting impact on voters in this state, and get them to the polls. The beginning phase of this election cycle is over, and now, the real games begin. Politicians for the next week will be getting on their fair share of door to door meetings in this state, but quickly have to pivot after the caucus to New Hampshire. With this context, Fox News Business holds a debate before Iowa voting day tonight, with a focus on the economy. As the economy is the number one issue for many Americans, and their primary concern when casting their vote, this debate comes at a crucial time, and gives each candidate one more chance to make a splash.
Although there are significantly less candidates than the start of the race, Fox News has chosen to break the debates in two again. The “varsity” and “JV” teams will allow each person to have more speaking time, and truly emphasize their plan to turn the economy around. So, what can we expect from each candidate on stage?
Governor John Kasich
While Kasich is governor of the sought after state of Ohio (no president has ever won the election without winning this state,) he has had a very hard time getting his voice heard with so many strong personalities in the room. Kasich will most likely talk about how his state went from a deficit to a surplus, and Trump will most likely say that is because of fracking and natural gas. The governor needs to make a splash tonight if he wants to make it past Iowa and New Hampshire. While Iowa seems to be going to Trump or Cruz, he should use this debate to focus on the only place he has a chance: New Hampshire. This is also a time for him to lay out a clear tax plan and how he plans to improve the economy.
Governor Chris Christie
At one point, Christie seemed indestructible. After winning his last election in New Jersey, usually a blue state, with such strong numbers, he appeared to be the GOP’s new shining star. In fact, he was so confident in winning this election, that he supposedly turned down Romney’s offer to run as his VP. Everything changed after Bridgegate, which proved wrong the saying that there is no such thing as bad publicity. Although he promised to have nothing to do with the scandal, there was not the same fervor and support for the outspoken governor as there was before his office came under fire. For tonight, Christie will also have to hope for New Hampshire, and will most likely discuss how he cut taxes in a blue state, and helped to create jobs. Balancing the budget with no tax increases will be the phrase of the night.
Once holding a consistent second place in all the polls, and even tying with Trump briefly in Iowa, Carson has now been very much overshadowed in the polls and the media by Ted Cruz. As both these candidates appeals greatly to the evangelical groups, it is no surprise that as Cruz rises, Carson would fall. Nevertheless, Carson used the first debate to really move forward, and therefore, he can just as easily use this debate to regain the place he lost. Carson should use this debate to really explain his ideology behind his tax plan, as this has not been so clear in the past debates.
If there was ever a time when Bush needed to hustle, it is now. Bush has taken a risk in his debate by focusing so much on the economy, with a very detailed plan that would generate 4% growth. His PAC, Right to Rise, focuses on the decline of the American Dream, and the fact that some many Americans are now slipping through the cracks. While other candidates have been accused of blowing hot air, Bush can take tonight to clearly lay out his economic plan, as well as overly emphasize his accomplishments as governor of Florida. If Bush wants to catch up, and prove to his supporters he will be the best candidate to become president, tonight is his perfect time to do so.
Senator Ted Cruz
The economy has not exactly been the most notable subject for Ted Cruz. The only point that he seems to make when it comes to this subject is that Obamacare is ruining the economy, and that Americans are feeling the effects of a bad economy. So tonight, Cruz will need to put some substance behind his words, and lay out exactly how he plans to put those Americans who cannot find a job back to work. Furthermore, he can talk about his tax plan, which he tried to get to during the CNBC debate, but was constantly interrupted. (He also had a break out moment during a debate, when he called out the CNBC moderators for their overtly biased questions).
Senator Marco Rubio
Rubio is best known for two topics: immigration and foreign policy. Really, he has not spoken at all about tax plans nor the economy. Tonight, Rubio will really have to lay down a plan, because one does not usually associate Rubio with this subject, and it is key in this election.
For everyone who still refuses to take Trump seriously, he actually has a really good tax plan. This is a subject where politicians constantly call for reform, and Trump has a concrete copy that outlines how he will bring jobs back to America and fix up Social Security and other benefit packages. As a business mogul, Trump will also be able to give examples of how he is the best guy to make deals, but will have to divert attention away from his past bankruptcies. Regardless, make sure to listen to Trump’s tax plan. Though he is also accused of blowing hot air, by clearly outlining this plan, he may gain that final edge he needs when it comes to Election Day.