Who Didn't Make The First Republican Debate? The JV Squad Is Made Up Of 7 Disappointed Conservatives
Fox News' popularity contest tally is in, and the seven candidates at the bottom can't be happy. On Tuesday, the network announced which Republican candidates would debate on Aug. 6 during prime time, and which would participate in the second-tier candidates' forum at 5 p.m. that day. This news is not good for Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Carly Fiorina, George Pataki, Jim Gilmore, and Lindsey Graham.
Meanwhile, the celebrating top 10 candidates are Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, and John Kasich. Each of them has the hearts of at least 2.2 percent of voters, according to The New York Times, with Kasich and Perry fighting for the last spot, and Graham trailing at the end with 0.4 percent.
As disappointing as this must be for the bottom seven contenders, it really shouldn't be that much of a surprise. They all made fatal mistakes that might be difficult to come back from. None of these politicians have the star power of Trump, the balderdash ramblings of Carson, or the money of Rubio. To help them understand this crushing defeat a little better, here's why the members of the Republican JV squad didn't make varsity:
You might remember Perry as that candidate you thought was really offensive back in 2012. As a result of his shortcomings, the public presumably thinks: If he couldn't beat Romney, who couldn't beat Obama, how is he supposed to win an election now?
Santorum also wears the title of That Offensive 2012 Guy We Barely Remember. He dropped out of the race in April of 2012, and perhaps thought that he would have won if he'd stuck around. That doesn't look like the case now.
Jindal is really only known nationally for one thing: hating Planned Parenthood. And even though that one point is a staple of Republican candidates, it's not enough to propel him to the ranks of Trump and Bush.
Fiorina's whole campaign brand is that she's successful woman who won't hit men with all that feminism hoo-ha mumbo jumbo. She basically serves as a Republican candidate who can attack Hillary Clinton without it seeming sexist. Even though a lot of the time, it's still sexist, anyway.
Pataki loves talking about New York. Polling at 0.6 percent, the former governor has made his handling of 9/11 a cornerstone of his campaign. The problem is that if you don't live in New York, you probably don't know who he is, and New York isn't exactly the biggest haven for Republicans.
It might not have been the best strategy for Gilmore to pop into the race a few days before the first Republican debate. Few people are aware or who he is, he hasn't had time to explain many of his positions, and his polling data is weak.
It's hard to say exactly what Graham's biggest failure was. I think it's that he tried too hard to compete with Trump, getting lost in headlines about cell phone numbers and engaging in gimmicks. As a result, Trump is playing quarterback, and Graham is warming the bench, desperately wishing Fox News would send him into the game.