Is the large field of Republican candidates for president already starting to narrow a bit, after the season’s first debate this week in Milwaukee?
UW-La Crosse political science professor, Dr. Anthony Chergosky, said Thursday on WIZM it was surprising to see candidate Vivek Ramaswamy get much of the media attention at the eight-person forum on Wednesday. Chergosky thinks that might be a result of the age difference between Ramaswamy and the other Republican hopefuls.
“I do think Vivek, just the fact that he is the youngest candidate in the field, has the potential to connect with younger voters,” Chergosky told La Crosse Talk. “He’s kinda into tech, he’s this fresh face in the field. I think he has the potential to really connect with people.”
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Chergosky says the Milwaukee debate probably won’t have a lasting effect on the race, because “there was someone who was conspicuously absent from the debate,” meaning Donald Trump, who still has a commanding lead on the Republican side in opinion polls. Trump stayed away from the Milwaukee debate, suggesting it might hurt his position in front if he subjects himself to criticism from the others in person. Chergosky points out that Trump wasn’t mentioned much during the two-hour televised forum.
However, Chergosky thought the first official GOP event putting the challengers together on a single stage was “a fun debate to watch.”
Milwaukee also hosted a GOP debate in November of 2015, almost exactly a year before Trump won the presidency, and it will be the site of the Republican convention next summer.