Guess there aren’t enough non-political reality shows already on the air. At Bloomberg View, Jonathan Bernstein:
We’re about to see some wild behavior from the Republican presidential candidates. At least that’s what the cable networks are trying to arrange. To understand why, look at how Fox News and CNN have set their debate rules for the first GOP debate, which will take place on Aug. 6 on Fox…
We’re going to see gimmicks, stunts and every attention-grabbing device the campaigns can think of, all timed to maximize poll standings near the end of July.
All of this public campaigning promises to provide cheap, watchable programming for the same cable news networks that are setting up the incentives. A public feud between two candidates (even a phony one deliberately planned to draw attention) should attract higher ratings than coverage of the less-visible courting of party insiders that candidates might otherwise be engaged in. And some contenders who have a pile of money but little public impact may run national ads on, say, Fox News, to try to get into the top 10.
Constructing polling averages is an art, not a science, and there’s plenty of room (deliberately manipulated or not) for different results driven by the choice of methods… It’s impossible to know who is really ahead, especially for candidates bunched toward the bottom. So it may come down to luck, when the last two or three slots are filled. Right now, the candidates in 9th through 14th place in HuffPollster’s estimates are separated by all of 1.8 percentage points, so claiming one is ahead of another is guesswork.
Perhaps more important, these current also-rans — Rick Perry, Lindsey Graham, Carly Fiorina, Santorum, Bobby Jindal, Kasich — are close to zero in the ratings. It wouldn’t take much for a Joe the Plumber to declare a candidacy and reach 10th place if he’s featured on Fox in June...
Every on-the-bubble GOP candidate should be on the phone *now* to O'Malley about staging a feud in July.
— Jonathan Bernstein (@jbview) May 21, 2015
Note to the Republican candidates who don’t make the initial top 10! Here is an idea! http://t.co/8GdUQrNgAe
— Greta Van Susteren (@greta) May 21, 2015
The answer to many candidates isn't limiting # of candidates, it is increasing length of debates. Mayweather-Pacquiao pre-show was 5 hours.
— Hugh Hewitt (@hughhewitt) May 21, 2015