While other GOP candidates, such as Carly Fiorina, have built on a successful debate performance and are hoping to move into primetime on September 16, some others are at risk of falling into the “kids table” debate earlier in the evening. There are at least two major candidates who are fighting for relevance and trying to stay in the top ten but currently sit on the cusp of being downgraded.

Report on Chris Christie from Politico:

Chris Christie, the voluble New Jersey governor, is once again facing the possibility that he might be relegated to the junior varsity debate — and rival Republican campaigns and outside observers say his window to re-enter the top tier of presidential candidates is closing fast.

Wednesday night’s scene in New Hampshire showed the daunting challenge ahead of Christie. As CNN, Fox News and MSNBC covered Trump’s first town hall live — breaking only to run clips of Jeb Bush attacking the real estate tycoon — Christie was gasping for air on C-SPAN. Because the governor’s dimly lit event — a town hall at a restaurant outside of Manchester — was outdoors, the few viewers watching saw the candidate gradually disappear into darkness. The next day’s headlines duly focused on the Jeb-Donald contretemps, ignoring Christie’s play for a state he has made central to his fading White House hopes.

“He’s just not getting the traction that I think he was expecting,” said Andy Seale, the former chairman of the Republican Party in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire.

According to the current polling average, Christie has dropped to number eleven with no floor in sight.

Rand Paul is facing similar struggles, though he’s in a little better shape than Christie. Having won the ability to legally run for President and re-election to his Senate seat at the same time, Paul will be soldiering on while his poll numbers continue to soften. Report from the Washington Post:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) kicked off a week-long swing across Alaska and Western states by answering an unwelcome question: Why was he falling in the polls? Why was he still attacking Donald Trump, if voters weren’t paying him back with support?

“I think if you look closely at the poll numbers, our numbers actually shifted south before I ever attacked him,” said Paul in a conference call before his speech in Alaska’s biggest city. “We probably didn’t really go after his fake conservative-ness for probably two months. During those two months, my numbers went down, and I think my numbers have stayed the same [since].”

Paul’s Western tour comes at the end of a mostly-horrible month, which was rescued only when the Republican Party of Kentucky cleared the way for him to run for his current job while seeking the White House. National media outlets (including this one) have taken turns writing pre-obituaries for his campaign. Polling has found him slipping toward the bottom of the tier that will qualify for next month’s CNN debate; just today, a Public Policy Polling survey of New Hampshire found Paul hitting 3 percent in a state where he’s led the field in endorsements and organizing.

I think it’s premature to write campaign obituaries this early in the game. We’re not even out of August yet which is typically a very, very slow month of vacations and summer fun. Few people are really plugged into the race yet. However, if Paul were to dip into the lower tier of polling and miss the primetime spot in September, it could be devastating for his campaign moving forward.


  1. People have compared Trump and Christie, so it’s surprising that Christie had done so poorly, but the fact is, Trump is SAYING something. We remember Christie for being rude to his audience, but little else.

    Meanwhile, Rand should have been the “unconventional” candidate who stood out, with solid libertarian views, but he’s just not his dad. His message is muddled, and he has flip-flopped a few times

    • I think Rand’s tone sometimes comes off condescending. I felt in the debate he just didn’t come off favorably when standing next to everyone else. Like he’s just too disgusted with everyone because he will protect your rights better so “how can you even compare him to these morons” kind of tone.

      • “Like he’s just too disgusted with everyone because he [Rand Paul] will protect your rights better so “how can you even compare him to these morons….”

        Rand Paul was 100% correct — the rest were disgusting Neocons and Rinos bent on destroying our Liberties and the US Constitution, and destroying our economy by starting more wars to protect Israel, not the USA (under the false mantra that Bigger Government Control of all our actions is best to “guarantee” our safety, at the expense of losing All our Freedoms)!

        No wonder Rand Paul — who wants to audit the Federal Reserve Criminals, wants to stop all Foreign Aid (until we take care of our own, we shouldn’t spend a dime on Foreign Governments) — got the least speaking time!

        Our AIPAC owned media wants to do to Rand Paul the same as they did to his father — The Greatest American patriot in the 21st century, Ron Paul — another black out of his true messages that are aimed at saving our Free Republic !

        • I’m not trying to “put down” anyone, I merely watched the debate.

          Lets say for argument sake, he is 100% correct and the rest are awful. That still didn’t help the way he came across on it. In other words, you have to be tactful about it or you don’t convince people, you simply turn them off.

          I think he was shafted on speaking time, as was Walker. They both got under 6 minutes compared to Trump’s 12 minutes. The moderators sucked way too much of the question time leaving too little for candidates. Unfortunately, in my opinion, Paul didn’t make the most of the 5 minutes he had and I’m sure he was angered about it during the broadcast, I don’t blame him. But I think it showed in the time he did have that he was letting it get to him.

          My guess is that he will still appear on the main stage for the CNN debate and Christie will fall out of the top ten.

          • It’ll be interesting to see if he ups his game this time. Things will be more interesting if he can think better on his feet than what we saw (or didn’t) last time.

          • The later thread points out that they’ll probably keep the top ten and add Carly and maybe Carson. I think they should drop someone if they’re going to add someone.

            If I were one of the lower tier right now, I’d try to come up with some outrageous soundbite, and then dump every cent into advertising it. If you can get in the top ten in the next week of the polls, you’re in.

          • Nate: I think you hit the nail on the head. In addition to flip-flopping and pandering, Rand’s personality comes off as holier than thou. By contrast, Ron was down to earth, and never gave anyone the impression he was talking down to them.

            I think the reason is that Ron knew exactly what he believed, and he told what he believed. Ron wanted a peaceful revolution, Rand just wants to win.

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