8 GOP debate qualifiers hoping to make a splash in crowded pool

Published: Aug. 22, 2023 at 5:26 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - It’s a crowded pool - and eight candidates are hoping to make a splash Wednesday night in Milwaukee.

But the biggest challenge - will they be able to outshine the man who’s not even in the room?

Donald Trump is skipping the debate stage, opting instead to air a pre-taped interview to compete in the time slot.

“Kind of bummer. But this way it will give us a chance to see everybody else,” said Republican voter Bob Willis. “He would definitely suck all the oxygen”

Willis drove from Indiana to get in on the action.  While Trump is his guy, he’s keeping an open mind.

“My number two pick is Vivek. I think he’s fantastic,” said Willis. “He’s young. He’s vibrant. He’s got some excellent ideas. And he reminds me of a young Trump”

Vivek Ramaswamy is experiencing a surge in the polls - inching into the number three spot in recent weeks.

Ohio State University Political Science professor Paul Beck says no matter their ranking, all 8 hopefuls face the same challenge.

“How these candidates try to differentiate themselves from one another and how they try to differentiate themselves from Trump. They’re going to be very careful in talking about Trump.”

The two-hour live debate will air at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Former President Donald Trump is expected to turn himself in for the Georgia election fraud indictment Thursday morning.