So Donald Trump refuses to participate in Thursday’s GOP debate.
Given that this debate is being held in Iowa 72 hours ahead of the Iowa Caucus this doesn’t sound like a smart move. If many Iowa voters make up their minds about who to support in the caucuses in this same 72 hour period what are they to make of someone of the frontrunner who refuses to show up for the debate?
Trump is running the risk of coming off like a frontrunner who thinks he has the race in the bag and unwilling to close the deal. I’m sure the folks in the Ted Cruz camp are jumping for joy. Ditto for Marco Rubio. If Trump is absent look for a lot more head butting between Cruz and Rubio. Trump’s absence is going to mean they are going to get a second look and not a moment too soon. This could be the best thing to have happened to the Republican Party in six months.
But given that Trump often says one thing on Tuesday only to say another on Wednesday, it would not shock me if Trump does an about face and decides to join the debate after all. If he doesn’t join the debate then for one night Trump won’t be the center of the universe. Not being the center of the universe is a greater punishment for Trump than having to be in the same room with Megyn Kelly.
The bottom line is if Trump doesn’t show up at the debate and then loses the Iowa Caucus it could go down as one of the biggest political blunders in the history of presidential politics.