Let The Games Begin

Republican debates begin for the 2016 primaries

Julie Freijat, co-editor in chief

This August marked the beginning of the Republican debates for the 2016 presidential race. According to the schedule announced in January by the Republican National Committee, 12 debates will occur from August 2015 to March 2016.

As of Sept. 14, there were 16 candidates, 14 of which attended the first debate on Aug. 3, hosted by C-SPAN.

The second debate held by Fox News on Aug. 6 showcased only the top-10 candidates leading in the most recent polls due to the amount of republicans running. This debate was viewed by 24 million people, making it the most watched live broadcast in the history of cable news.

Fox News offered an alternative debate at 5 p.m. the same night for the remaining candidates.

During the main debate on Aug. 6, each candidate was given a certain amount of airtime by the moderators with Donald Trump having the most at 10:32, and Rand Paul having the least at 5:10.

The debate shook up the polls, and candidates received either praise or criticism. “The Washington Post” pegged Marco Rubio a “political talent” in the main event and stated that Carly Fiorina was “the clear winner” of the 5 p.m. debate. However, CNN called Jeb Bush “nervous, halting and just painfully uninspiring.”

These debates have sparked local attention as well.

“Despite all the attention Donald Trump is getting, it’s just for entertainment,” Debate teacher Chris Riffer said. “The ones that probably have the most potential are those that have more ties in the establishment of the party and have some actual executive experience. So Jeb Bush [and] Scott Walker — I would think those are probably going to be the two that you’ll see at the end of the primary season.”

On Sept. 16, CNN hosted another primetime debate. This debate included 11 of the 16 candidates and focused on foreign policy and immigration.

The next debate is scheduled to be on Oct. 28 in Boulder, Colorado. It will be hosted by CNBC, which has stated that the debate will be primarily centered around the economy.