Before the 8 GOP presidential candidates step onto the stage in Milwaukee, Minnesotans will be buzzing about this KSTP/SurveyUSA Poll that must have Hillary’s supporters wondering what type of environment she’s in. The first thing that will be different than the CNBC Debate is that these debate moderators won’t ask questions that haven’t been researched and confirmed 9 ways to Sunday. Becky Quick won’t apologize for asking a legitimate question. John Harwood won’t insist that he had to correct his article about Sen. Rubio’s tax plan.
Maria Bartiromo and Neil Cavuto will ask the candidates straightforward, substantive questions that will help likely GOP primary voters get to know more about the candidates. It’s likely that there will be a large viewing audience Tuesday night. What isn’t certain, though, is how Donald Trump will attack Dr. Carson and Sen. Rubio. It’s certain that Trump will attack his rivals. It’s just a matter of how hostile he’ll be in attacking them. It’s a fairly safe bet that Trump will attack Sen. Rubio on his credit card issue, which Sen. Rubio has already explained. Likewise, it’s a fairly safe bet that Trump will attack Dr. Carson over the Politico fake scandal.
Still, it’ll be interesting to see whether any of the candidates tout the latest KSTP/SurveyUSA poll results of their head-to-head match-ups against Hillary Clinton:
If the election were held today, Clinton would trail Ben Carson 50-41 percent, Marco Rubio 47-41 percent, Carly Fiorina 45-41 percent and Donald Trump by a 45-42 percent margin. Clinton is in a virtual tie with Jeb Bush, with Bush leading 44-43 percent. She leads Ted Cruz 46-41 percent.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Then there’s this:
Clinton trails by double-digits among independents against Carson (+20), Fiorina (+13) and Rubio (+12). The only GOP candidate Clinton leads among independents is Bush, by a slim 38-36 percent margin.
FYI- Hillary trails Trump 42%-34% amongst independents, with 24% of independents undecided.
Trump needs a big night. If he doesn’t ace the economics debate with solid ideas about how to revive the economy and revamp the Obamacare health care system, people will be justified if they ask if he’s got the right prescription to fix the American economy. That means fixing it so that everyone gets ahead, not just the well-connected.
Finally, Jeb Bush needs a great performance to keep his feet out of the political grave. The former frontrunner has been a lackluster campaigner. With fundraisers abandoning ship and supporters getting jittery, Jeb can’t afford another ok performance.