What Does a "Trumpless" Debate Look Like and are Iowa Polls Based on False Assumptions?

Jan 29, 2016

The Republicans competing to replace Barack Obama held their final debate before the February 1st Iowa caucuses and their frontrunner was a few miles down the road hosting an event for the vets. Donald Trump’s boycott of the GOP debate reportedly grew out of his months long feud with Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly and his perception that the network was not treating him fairly. In Trump’s absence, GOPers on the stage seemed to turn their attention to the runner-up in the polls, Ted Cruz. So how did the “Trumpless” debate play out? Was there enough oxygen on the stage for the candidates to have actual policy discussions? Were any candidates helped by the debate? Were any hurt? Will Iowans take Trump’s absence out on him at the caucuses? Were the establishment candidates on the stage actually playing for New Hampshire? Will Iowa voters surprise the pundits and the pollsters when they caucus? And what if the polls and the pundits are right? Does Trump win Iowa and roll on through to November? And what about those polls leading up to the Iowa vote? How accurate are they? Have enough new voters registered in the state to give the non-traditional candidates the lift they need to get over the top? If the polls turn out to be wrong, does the whole race reshuffle? In Georgia politics, Confederate Heritage is once again on the stage. In response to proposals to make Stone Mountain more inclusive of all aspects of Civil War history, new legislation in the House which requires that Stone Mountain Park be kept as “an appropriate and suitable memorial for the Confederacy” has been introduced. The sponsor of the legislation also made controversial comments about slavery and the KKK. How far will the proposed legislation get? How will the comments affect discourse under the Gold Dome as the session moves forward? The panel weighs in on all this and more!