After receiving flack from New Hampshire regarding their displeasure with Fox's approach to whittle down the number of candidates to participate in the first televised debate, Fox is leaning on a second televised debate after the first debate for those candidates that didn't make the cut.
Apparently, New Hampshire feels that they along with Iowa should be the ones that weed out candidates.
While I agree that no news outlet should be the one determining the likelihood of any candidate, Fox is in a jam due to the fact that not one candidate or a set of candidates appear to be a front-runner, and the sheer number of candidates make any debate impossible. Factoring in an introduction by all candidates and having each respond to questions posed, there doesn't appear to be a lot of time for an actual debate, unless Fox decides to have the debate over a series of days.
The idea of a debate is to allow opposing sides to question one another, presumably on the basis of facts. This provides additional information to the electorate prior to them casting their vote. However, in the past several iterations of presidential elections, these party debates have become more of a pageant where the winner is determined by how much press a candidate receives afterwards, and of course, how much donations and volunteers they receive in the subsequent weeks, even if they do not necessarily come off as a victor.
The two states where these candidates seek recognition and support is Iowa and New Hampshire. The voters take these elections seriously, and often point out that they often determine the viability of the candidates that will continue on with their presidential run. Well, when only two states get to participate in the initial paring down of candidates, I guess these two states would have that honour, which leaves a bad taste for me, and should for all voters across this country.
Why should potential candidates limit their campaign to just two states? We are a nation of fifty states, and frankly, Iowa or New Hampshire are not fair representations of the social, economic, and political demographics of this country.
Why not have candidates go through the gauntlet of all states? They can certainly begin in Iowa and New Hampshire, but by having to present themselves to the entire country's electorate, this would naturally reduce the number of candidates where an actual debate could then be conducted.
Since Citizen United, the main emphasis for candidates is what source they need to attach themselves to, to receive untold millions - hundreds of millions! Jeb Bush has even devised a plan to first pursue the hundreds of millions and let that be his ticket to the nomination of his party. You see, as long as the Super-Pac does not communicate directly with the candidate, there are no issues. I guess that is why Mr. Bush has still not declared his candidacy - planning and fund raising must be done prior to that door being shut - communicating between the Super-Pac and the Bush campaign. But his leaves one to speculate whether Mr. Bush is vying for support from the State's electorate or support from a small number of individuals or associations that may not necessarily have the best intentions for the American People.
This is not an indictment on Mr. Bush, but the entire process. It's not an indictment on candidates receiving support from millionaires or billionaires.
It is an indictment of the overall process which leaves too few citizens participating in the process.
Washington State, for which I hail from, never seems to be part of the initial process, though we have industry giants such as Boeing, Costco, Amazon, Starbucks, and Microsoft. Our state has a plethora of social, economic, and political ecosystems. California too is rich in its ecosystems, and being the eighth largest economy of the world, appears to be one state that should have a stake in the presidential elections early on. New York, Texas, Florida, and many other states provide a solid representation of this country, yet are out of the initial process.
While not positing that Iowa and New Hampshire are unqualified for input, they are however, not a full representation of the United States of America, and all states should have an opportunity to influence what candidates become viable and continue on.
To date, only Senator Sanders has been consistent with his positions. He's considered by the media not to be viable, but I remember the same said regarding our current president. I can see Senator Sanders campaign in each of the 50 states and be quite a force. For the GOP candidates, I can't see many - based on their positions - really coming off as a viable candidate in states that are far more complex than Iowa and New Hampshire. However, if you only have to focus on a few states that basically do not represent the United States, your chances increase immensely.
So while there will be a debate brought to you by Fox News with candidates that they decide who are viable, and perhaps other forums for candidates by institutions not necessarily pleased with the Fox methodology, all other states will simply have to wait to vote on what's left.
Not a very good process at all, which may be why Fox's problem is a reflection of our flawed presidential campaigns in it's early stages.