The Lid: Is Debate Skip Another Shrewd Move by Trump?

Welcome to The Lid, your afternoon dose of the 2016 ethos… Some of the candidates relegated to tonight’s undercard debate are trying to invite themselves to the event Donald Trump is holding after ditching the primetime show that everyone less popular than him desperately wanted to attend. This is pretty much how every Saturday night works in high school.

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‘16 from 30,000:

If Donald Trump really skips the final GOP debate before Iowa -- which at this point seems likely -- then it may just be the latest in a series of shrewd moves the businessman has made in the lead up to the caucuses. There’s a reason football teams don’t like to throw the football with a lead late in the fourth quarter. You don’t want to make a mistake and give your opponent a chance to make a play. And Trump is simply running down the clock by skipping tonight’s debate. Sure, he will get knocked around plenty -- but probably not as much as he would if he showed up. And with the GOP race still tight in the middle of the pack (especially in New Hampshire), there is a good chance the extra speaking time without Trump will be spent by candidates bashing rivals on stage with them. (Cruz vs. Rubio is a good bet.) Plus, we’ve probably been talking about the real estate mogul more during the will-he-or-won’t-he speculation. So do Iowans or New Hampshire voters care that Trump is skipping the final debate before the caucuses? Well, if they haven’t been dissuaded by anything Trump has said or done yet, it’s hard to see how this would.



“We may be given a gift from the Lord in the presidential race.”

  • Vice President Joe Biden talking about what he views as a weak GOP presidential field


Donald Trump holds a morning rally in New Hampshire, while every other candidate is in Iowa.

Bill Clinton appears with Hillary at an evening event in Davenport.