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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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What to watch for during Saturday’s GOP debate

In between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries, the dwindling pool of Republican candidates will have the chance to debate for the eighth time this election cycle. News editor Sam King gives her take on what to watch for at the debate.
1. No more happy hour
Things are starting to get real and the first thing to go — besides a few candidates — is the undercard debate. Saturday’s debate will be the first time lower polling candidates won’t make an appearance beforehand. Candidates like Carly Fiorina who are not polling nationally at the cut off will not have a chance to debate at all.  Now everyone who accidentally tuned in too early for the main debate won’t have to Google who’s on stage.
2. The Return of the Trump
After bowing out of the last Republican debate and then subsequently coming in second place in the Iowa caucuses, Trump will be looking to reestablish himself as a serious contender. While I don’t think Trump refusing to debate last week is the cause for his downfall in Iowa, it certainly didn’t help. Trump will likely return to his loud, overbearing method of debating in an attempt to be memorable before the New Hampshire primaries.
3. Beware the last ditch efforts
Following Monday’s Iowa caucuses, the Republican candidates narrowed further after Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum dropped their bids. As candidates leave, it gives voters more time to look more critically at those who remain. Lower polling candidates who may only be holding on until after New Hampshire — looking at you, Jeb — will be making last-ditch efforts on Saturday to leave a mark on the nation.
4. Marco Rubio sliding into republicans’ DMs
Marco Rubio coming in third in the Iowa caucuses has a lot of people looking his way, and he will likely be feeling that pressure. He proved himself in Iowa, and if he wants to continue to grow that momentum, he’ll have to make an impression on Saturday. Many people declared him the winner of the last GOP debate and Rubio has been consistent in his policies in the past.
5. Ted to be Cruz-in’ to the top
Ted Cruz clinched a pretty clear victory in Iowa and will be looking to continue his winning streak in New Hampshire. Cruz knows he does well at these debates, especially up against Trump, so he will continue his style of confronting the business man on his more questionable policies. Cruz has tasted victory and a strong performance on Saturday could secure New Hampshire for him, too.

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