Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Donald Trump and the Seven Dwarfs

The second Republican debate will be Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, CA. It will be cosponsored by Fox Business. The moderators will be Stuart Varney, Dana Perino, and Ilia Calderón.

Now Gov. Doug Burgum (R-ND) says he has qualified. Probably he upped the value of the gift cards he is giving away for a $1 donation from $20 to something much higher. Maybe $50. We didn't check this time.

The other contestants will be the same as the first time, minus Asa Hutchinson. If the goal was to cull the herd early, it is not working. Debate v2.0 will be a rerun of the first one, with everyone aiming their fire at everyone except the only person who matters: Trump. Vivek Ramaswamy will try to out-Trump them all, Tim Scott will smile a lot, Ron DeSantis will be angry and Nikki Haley will be the only adult in the room.

Since there are seven now, expect lots of news stories about Donald Trump and the Seven Dwarfs. Here is our assignment:

Donald Trump wasn't on stage the first time and won't be there the second time. The first time, he aired a recorded interview with that tough journalist, Tucker Carlson. The second time he will give a speech to the striking United Auto Workers in Detroit.

The ground rules for the third debate have been announced. It will be Nov. 8 in Miami. Candidates will need 70,000 donors (so Burgum may have to increase the gift cards again) and be polling 4% in two national polls or 4% in one national poll and polls in two of the early states. Ron DeSantis, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Nikki Haley have already qualified and the rest probably will as well. Unless something unexpected happens, it will be more of the same and Trump will waltz off with the nomination. The only thing that might stop him is a head-to-head fight with a single opponent, and the RNC algorithm doesn't seem to be producing that. (V)

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