One GOP presidential hopeful came out on top after the Republican warm-up debate in New Hampshire, and he did it by skipping the debate completely. Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump skipped the warm-up debate last night and, instead, let the other presidential hopefuls battle it out over issues like Hillary Clinton’s emails, legalization of marijuana, and immigration. By skipping the debate, Donald Trump was able to keep his lead in the polls and keep his name out of the warm-up debate altogether. In fact, Trump wasn’t mentioned at all in the Monday night debate, yet his poll numbers continue to soar.
CNN Money reports that GOP presidential primary candidate Donald Trump skipped the Monday night Voters First Republican Presidential Forum at the auditorium at Saint Anselm College, in Manchester, New Hampshire. The Monday night debate was co-sponsored by the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper, along with papers from Iowa, South Carolina, and New Hampshire. The debate was slated as a “primary states matter” event, with focus on questions tailored to viewers in the early-voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina.
The New Hampshire Union Leader publisher Joe McQuaid has been vocal about his criticism of the debate criteria for the Fox News-sponsored debate scheduled for Thursday, where Donald Trump will take center-stage as the Republican front-runner. Monday night’s debate was not not carried on any cable news networks. However, it was shown live on C-SPAN. Meanwhile, the Fox News debate held Thursday will feature the top 10 candidates from five national polls at the prime time spot. The remaining seven candidates that don’t make the top 10 cut will be featured at a second-tier event.
McQuaid pointed out that Trump likely skipped the event due to an unfavorable editorial posted in his paper. The New Hampshire Union Leader posted an editorial follow-up to Trump’s controversial comments in July, ridiculing McCain’s war hero status. McQuaid said the piece is likely what kept Trump from attending the event.
“His staff is saying that he was upset with an editorial that appeared in our paper… questioning his courage versus that of John McCain.”
However, in a letter pinned to McQuaid from Trump’s team, a series of reasons for not attending were outlined including the fact that “it is unlikely I will be getting the endorsement from you and the Union Leader.” Therefore, it seems that Trump chose to save his debate answers for the Fox News debate on Thursday and skip the smaller, less-publicized event.
Despite Trump’s absence from the Monday night event, his poll numbers surged in South Carolina. The Post and Courier reports that Trump’s numbers surged to 34 percent following his absence, with South Carolina voters taking up for the businessman and not falling for “negative campaign” tactics.
“Mr. Trump’s growing support has not gone unnoticed by the Washington elites, political establishment and liberal media who continuously, unfairly and inaccurately criticize his platform and exemplary business record. South Carolinians are all too familiar with this sort of negative campaigning and continue to rise to his defense.”
What do you think about Donald Trump skipping the Monday night debate, yet his poll numbers continuing to rise?
[Image Credit: Getty Images / Scott Olson]