Donald Trump was not present at the Republican Party debate last night, yet has still been dubbed the “true winner” by a political analyst.
His absence was mocked by his rival, Chris Christie, who jokingly called him “Donald Duck” after Trump decided to skip the second presidential debate.
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Trump’s absence was praised by political expert Gerard Filitti, who said that it will not affect him winning the Republican Primary and said that it was “the right decision in the short term”.
However, Filitti said that it could hurt his chances overall in the 2024 election.
Republican candidates participate in the second debate
The political expert and Senior Counsel at the Lawfare Practice said: “His refusal may well be perceived as unwarranted arrogance by many Republicans that are not among his base of supporters, as well as by independents.
“While this won’t cost Trump the nomination, it may end up costing him the general election; given the voting turnout in 2020, Trump will need the vote of practically every registered Republican and a majority of registered independents to prevail against the Democratic candidate, presumptively President Biden.”
DeSantis, another rival of Trump’s, has plummeted in the polls.
Chris Christie called out his political opponent
However, discussing Trump’s lead in the ballots, Fiitti said that the polls can often be incorrect.
He said: “History doesn’t like inevitability. George W. Bush was the inevitable Republican nominee - until John McCain entered the race. Hillary Clinton was the inevitable choice to replace Bush until America heard Barack Obama speak.
“It is still far too early in the race to say with any certainty who the candidates will end up being a year from now - which is why these debates absolutely matter.”
Political strategist Amani Wells-On told the Express: “Trump came out of the first GOP debate as the winner despite not even being there.
"As for the other candidates, I don't see any of them coming out as true winners. But depending on their performance, they may get recognized by the Trump administration.
“I think at this point in the election cycle it's all for the hopes of landing a role in this administration. I do not believe any candidate other than Trump even has the slightest chance of winning the primary.”