GOP hopefuls have new leader


Republican candidates will face off against each other today in the third GOP debate of the 2016 primary election cycle.

By Rebecca Morin

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Donald Trump soared following the first GOP debate in August.

Since then, the business mogul has been dropping in pollings, while another rises — Ben Carson.

Now with the third GOP debate occurring today, pundits and Republican voters are hoping to see what the next move for the top Republican candidates will be.

The third GOP debate of the 2016 primary cycle will be held today at University of Colorado in Boulder. The debate for candidates who polled an average between 1 percent to 3 percent will begin at 5 p.m., while the prime-time debate, which is for candidates who polled an average above 3 percent, will begin at 7 p.m.

David Yepsen, the director of the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, said candidates — frontrunner Donald Trump in particular — will go after retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Carson has recently surpassed Trump in Iowa polling and nationally.

According to an Oct. 23 Des Moines Register/Bloomberg Politics poll, 28 percent of Republican likely caucus-goers said Carson would be their first choice. Trump has fallen down to 19 percent.

With 401 likely Republican caucus-goers surveyed, there is a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.

“It’s kind of hard for him to smite the other candidates because he has such a big-guy image,” Yepsen said about Carson.

In a CBS/New York Time national poll released Tuesday, 26 percent of Republican primary voters said Carson would be their first choice. Donald Trump followed with 22 percent. The next highest candidate is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio with 8 percent.

There is a margin of error is plus or minus 6 percentage points with 575 Republican primary voters surveyed.

Yepsen, who worked for the Register for more than 30 years, said viewers will also try to see if there will be any more breakout performances, such as Fiorina had in the first debate.

Kossuth County Republicans Chairman Wendell Steven said he will watch Trump, Carson, Fiorina, Cruz, and Rubio during this debate.

In Iowa, 10 percent of likely Republican caucus-goers said Cruz would be their first choice, followed by Rubio with 9 percent. Fiorina was at 4 percent, according to the same Register poll.

Steven said he wants to see the candidates be more civil with each other and to go after the Democratic candidates rather than each other.

“I hope to see condemnation of Hillary ‘the Liar’ Clinton,” Steven said. “I don’t want to see them banging on each other, I want to see them banging on the Democrats, that’s who deserve it.”

Steven said he thinks the candidates to pay attention to all “have the right idea.”

“I think Trump has gotten the attention of people and back involved in politics, and that’s what we need to do to get rid of this administration we have got,” Steven said. “Getting back all the freedoms that we lost these past seven years.”

Trudy Caviness, the chairwoman of Wapello County Republicans, said she wants to hear the candidates talk “about the future forward of America” and what candidates are “going to do to make America great again.”

In the previous debates, Caviness said she does not believe the candidates focused enough on the policies.

“I think some of them talked some about it,” Caviness said. “What the first two debates were kind of introducing the type of person they are and would be as president.”

With fewer than 100 days until Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucus, Yepsen said this debate will act as what candidates “will do to start closing the sale.”

“We are now getting into the heart of the campaign here,” he said. “We could see some sharp elbows.”

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