The following is an excerpt from SMU News. FULL ARTICLE HERE
Originally Posted: January 14, 2016
State of the Union challenge puts Trump, economy and foreign policy under spotlight at Republican Debate
SMU experts are available for interview on all things debatable in connection with Thursday’s prime time matchup between seven GOP hopefuls:
CRUZ-TRUMP TIFF WILL COMMAND CENTER STAGE
After months of Trump and Ted Cruz public civility, the gloves have finally come off in the feud between the two to win next month’s Iowa Caucus, says Wilson.
“Ted Cruz has to be rolling his eyes at this birther idiocy,” Wilson says. “Of all the things that could have been brought up as a line of attack, I don’t think he expected this to be Trump’s attack. But maybe he should have – because Trump was a big birther critic of Obama.”
As pivotal as the Cruz-Trump showdown will be for Iowa, a four-way fight between Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, John Kasich and Jeb Bush for the New Hampshire primary could have an even greater impact on the shape of the race. A large margin of defeat there could potentially end several candidates’ ambitions.
“There’s a major battle there to see who will emerge as the center-right standard bearer as opposed to the far-right standard bearer, which would be Cruz,” Wilson says. “New Hampshire aggregates more center-right than far-right, but these four guys are dividing that vote, which creates an opening for Trump and, to a lesser extent, Cruz.”
Wilson is an SMU associate professor of Political Science
religion and politics
voting behavior of religious voters
public opinion and politics