Alex Stogin, Business Manager

 

In this week’s Republican Primary debate on Fox Business Channel, the stage was noticeably thinner than in previous debates. Only eight candidates took to the stage in the main debate as opposed to the typical 10 that have characterized previous debates.

Fox Business set the criteria to partake in the debate at needing to have 2.5 percent in the four most recent major polls to qualify. By increasing the standards to enter the debates, news groups are beginning to weed out the lower ranking candidates that continue to clutter the field.

This time we saw former governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee and current New Jersey Governor Chris Christie moved to the lower tier debate stage. We also saw Senator Lindsey Graham and former New York Governor George Pataki barred from the debate entirely for not averaging at least one percent in the four major polls, the standard needed to be invited to the lower tier debate.

I believe this speaks volumes about the Republican candidates. Those whose campaigns are floundering continue to hold on to hope that they’ll rise to the top. To me, that shows true selfishness and a continuing divide in the Republican Party.

In the Democratic Primary, candidates Lincoln Chaffee, Jim Webb and Lawrence Lussig all bowed out after seeing their campaigns drop off in the polls for the good of their party. With only three candidates in the primary, the Democrats are able to have debates that can highlight the differences of the candidates so that primary voters can make their decision.

This isn’t the case with the Republican candidates. Even those at less than one percent in the polls continue to push on. By not filtering out now, these candidates are preventing their party from unifying behind their strongest candidate.

The Republicans have made it clear that they want to avoid a Clinton or Sanders presidency at all costs. I don’t think they have the capability to even threaten the democratic candidate in an election if they are having this much trouble getting down to only a few primary candidates for voters to choose from.

The Republicans need to work towards securing stronger leadership throughout the federal level in general if they hope to survive 2016, whether that’s in the House, the Senate or the race for the presidency.

If that leadership and party cohesion is achieved, the 2016 election will be a fair showing in how the people of this nation want the country to be run.