Mark it on your calendar, I am predicting that tonight’s Republican will be the high water mark for Donald Trump’s campaign. That doesn’t mean that I think he’s going away quietly tomorrow morning but he will begin to experience a drop in his popularity that will lead to his withdrawl from the field. Here are a few reasons why I believe this will be the case.
1.) Tonight’s venue does not allow Trump to feed off the crowd.
Trump is a performer who loves to feed off the crown. Back in August, during the first debate, he was able to feed off both the positive and negative energy in the crowd. But tonight he is going to be in a much smaller venue and the candidates have each been able to invite just a handful of their supporters. This means that Trump is going to face a much different crowd and won’t be able to feed off the emotion like he did back in August.
2.) The other candidates are going to be better prepared for him.
There is no doubt that Trump is a good counter-puncher. Until now it hasn’t been a problem that most of his counter-arguments border on the ridiculous, but I predict that is going to change tonight. Tonight he will face nine opponents, including Carly Fiorina, who have been preparing for him. My prediction is that the sheer volume of the attack he will face will overwhelm him.
3.) The moderators for tonight’s debate are going to do a better job of exposing him.
The biggest story coming out of last month’s debate was Trump’s comments about Megyn Kelly both during and after the debate. Tonight, however, the debate will be moderated by Jake Tapper with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt and CNN Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash asking the questions. The presence of Hugh Hewitt who recently exposed Trump’s lack of foreign policy knowledge on his radio program and who Trump recently referred to a a “third rate journalist” should be interesting. Hewitt is a well known among Republicans and I predict he is going to expose Trump on a number of issues over the course of the debate.
4.) Carly Fiorina, John Kasich and Ben Carson are poised to make a move.
While a great deal said about Ben Carson pulling almost even with Trump in Iowa, little has been said about the fact that John Kasich is in second place and rising in New Hampshire. FYI- According to his campaign Kasich is right on track with where they want him to be and is looking to expand his campaign outside of New Hampshire. I have no doubt that he will be looking to make a big impact on voters in tonight’s debate and since he has more experience than anyone in the field he can be a force. (Personally, he has my vote and I think that the entire Republican part would do well to get behind him) Carly Fiorina made a huge impact during the JV debate back in August and she will show herself to be more than up to the task of taking Trump during the debate, in fact, I think she will be one of the biggest factors in his decline. Look for him to attack her and then be cut into shreds as she responds.
5.) The Legacy of Ronald Reagan will Expose Trump’s True Nature
I think it has become evident to everyone that Trump is no more Republican than the Pope is agnostic. Tonight’s debate will be held at the Reagan Library, in fact that backdrop, will be overlooking the Air Force One that flew Reagan across the country and the world. Hopefully, the visual reminders of Reagan’s legacy will wake up Republicans and expose Trump’s empty positions on nearly every subject.