The next few days of polls may very well show a continued Donald Trump lead among Republican contenders following this week’s presidential debate, but data from the event showed some hope for other candidates who’ve been trying to break through.
On the latest episode of Variety‘s “PopPolitics” on SiriusXM, Josh Ginsberg of ZignalLabs says that during the debate Trump captured about 23% of mentions in traditional and social media, whereas a typical day for him is usually 45% or as high as 60%.
“When he has to share the stage with others … he doesn’t have the same ability to really break through, especially when people touch on policy and things like that,” Ginsberg says.
Alan Schroeder, a professor at Northeastern University, said that “the problem is that he is extremely repetitious in what he says. If you watch one rally you have watched them all, and there is going to come a point where the novelty of that, if it hasn’t worn off already, quickly will.”
Schroeder is the author of “Presidential Debates: 50 Years of High Risk TV.”
He says, “It reminds me of Ross Perot, when he came out of the gate in ’92 in the first debate. By the second debate, where he was giving literally the same sound bites, people were bored with it, and I think we may see something along that line with Donald Trump.”
Of course, Trump has defied expectations before, but Wednesday’s debate proved to be a breakout for Carly Fiorina (landing an appearance on “The Tonight Show” on Monday) and a better gathering for Jeb Bush.
The Debate Over Debates
Visiting the post-debate spin room at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Democratic National Committee chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz told reporters that the GOP debate was a “food fight,” and she gave little indication of budging from pressure by other Democratic candidates to expand the party’s debate schedule. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi backed the idea of more debates in an interview with the Los Angeles Times on Friday.
“Every time you have a debate, there is a period of about three, four, five days that the entire operation has to get off the trail,” Wasserman Schultz told reporters. “You want to make sure those voters have a chance to kick the tires and really get the up-close retail look that the other candidates pride themselves on. We believe that six debates is enough. In the other election cycles the debate schedule got out of control so we wanted to make sure we put a little bit more control over it.”
Schroeder said that the problem is that “the other candidates who are calling for debates don’t really have the leverage to make it happen. Now if Joe Biden jumps in and he wants more debates, this may get rekindled. But yes, six is a really small number. Historically, it would be one of the shortest debate cycles ever for any major party in modern times.”
Nikki Schwab of Daily Mail and political consultant Matthew Littman talk about Fiorina’s new momentum, and whether it will be stopped by scrutiny over her record as CEO of Hewlett Packard. They also talk about the faltering candidacy of Scott Walker, and why his bald spot is the subject of attention.
Dub Lawrence was the youngest sheriff in Utah in the 1970s — and among his innovations was to start a SWAT unit. But in 2008, such a strike team was called to a domestic disturbance involving Lawrence’s son-in-law, ultimately escalating the situation. It ended with an officer shooting his son-in-law to death, in what Lawrence sees as the increasing problem of the militarization of law enforcement.
Lawrence is at the center of the new movie “Peace Officer,” opening this weekend, and talked to “PopPolitics” along with directors Brad Barber and Scott Christopherson.
“PopPolitics,” hosted by Variety’s Ted Johnson, airs Thursdays at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. ET on SiriusXM’s political channel POTUS. It also is available on demand.