We figured some candidates would get a bump from the first debate, but we also stated that Trump's lead was so large, it was unlikely to make a difference.
That has all played out according to plan.
Now, with a second debate on the horizon, we do not expect Trump to show up for that one, especially because it is being held at The Rondal Reagan Library.
It is rather ironic that Trump has always compared himself to Reagan, yet he will skip this debate because he reportedly wants to avoid being compared to Reagan.
Presidential candidate Chris Christie is already throwing shade in Trump's direction on this front.
Christie had stated, "The truth is that, you know, we can't have a convicted felon as our nominee for president and expect we're going to win, reported the Daily Mail.
So, Trump has not been convicted of anything yet, so Christie is jumping the gun a bit there, but I digress.
He continued, "And it was really the most amazing part of the debate to me was the idea that, you know, the majority of my competitors believe that you can have a convicted felon as our nominee for president, and that they support that and that he could win. I think that's an impossibility."
Christie continued to fire attacks at Trump, specifically addressing the Reagan Library debate, stating, "Ronald Reagan being a honest, direct, successful conservative, Donald Trump would not want to...suffer that comparison."
GOP candidate Chris Christie predicts that Donald Trump will skip next primary debate at the Reagan Library because “Ronald Reagan being a honest, direct, successful conservative, Donald Trump would not want to...suffer that comparison.” https://t.co/b741IDsXx4 pic.twitter.com/hEODlp9biQ
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) August 27, 2023
Christie mentioned that he thought Trump would show up at the third debate in Alabama, which should be scheduled in October, but I am not so sure that will happen.
Remember, the RNC has a rule in place that all participants must sign the commitment letter to promise to support whoever the eventual nominee is.
I would imagine the qualifiers for the third debate will be quite high, limiting this field to no more than five candidates.
We know Trump does not want to support DeSantis, so the question then becomes who caves first… the RNC or Donald Trump?
I don't see the RNC giving in for this one, so that means that Trump would then be going against everything his surrogates have stated thus far regarding what they would do if DeSantis wins this nomination somehow.
If Trump is that confident his lead will hold up, sign the paper, attend the debate, and mop the floor with everyone to end this race before the first vote is tallied.
If not, he stands the risk of allowing DeSantis to chip away until he makes a race of this.