Trump’s absence is opportunity for more serious discussion

Published 5:58 pm Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Tonight marks the final Republican debate ahead of the Iowa caucus. There will be one less attendee than usual. Donald Trump announced Tuesday that he does not plan on participating in the debate hosted by Fox News.

Trump has brought his reality television flare to the debates. His comments have been headline material for various news outlets just as much as the actual political discussions have been.

For that same reason, though, Trump believes the media has harshly criticized him. He asserts that Fox News anchor and debate moderator Megyn Kelly has unfairly targeted him with her questioning. The saga has often overshadowed the debates themselves. Trump has offered his commentary on Kelly’s moderating, most famously saying during the first Republican debate on Aug. 6, 2015 that “you could see blood coming out of her eyes.”

Should Trump indeed not show up, the GOP has a chance to have a more serious debate at an integral part of the primaries. His absence allows the issues to take center stage instead of Trump’s unorthodoxy.

The latest Iowa polling data on has Trump holding a six-point lead among Republicans. Ted Cruz ranks second and Marco Rubio comes in third. Without Trump, the rest of the Republican candidates are better equipped to focus on the issues. There is still a lot to be discussed, especially when it comes to foreign policy. Chris Christie, Rubio, Jeb Bush and the bunch will put forth a concerted effort to be the last one standing not named Trump or Cruz. Only then will any of them have a shot at the nomination. Each of those candidates will likely take full advantage of the fact that Trump isn’t there to command so much attention.

The GOP also has the opportunity to simply have a more serious debate. There’s no worrying about Trump commenting on Rubio’s outfit or the latest in his episode with Kelly.

There seems to be a lot of knowledge to gain from this debate. North Carolina voters — especially those who remain unsure — should pay close attention as primaries are quickly approaching on March 15.

The debate can be viewed at 9 p.m. on Fox News. Trump said he will host an event opposite of the debate, also in Iowa. He said he intends on donating money raised to wounded veterans.