GOP unites against Trump, Carson threatens third party run

FILE - In this Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, file photo, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump greets supporters before he delivers his message during a campaign rally at the state fair in Oklahoma City. Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, Dec. 9, 2015, rejected Trump's recent statements about Muslims, saying Israel "respects all religions" as he faced calls to call off an upcoming visit by the Republican front-runner. (AP Photo/J Pat Carter, File)

WASHINGTON (MEDIA GENERAL) – The remaining Republican presidential candidates will gather on Tuesday for their final debate of 2015 and are expected to sharpen their attacks against front-runner Donald Trump.

The CNN debate, hosted in Las Vegas, will be the first time the GOP hopefuls have gathered together since the Dec. 2 terror attack in San Bernardino, California.

Since the attack, several candidates have shifted their focus to security issues and have gone on the record about how they’d keep extremists from entering the United States. The debate will also likely focus on what a possible third-party run by either retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson or Trump could mean for the GOP nominee and their chances against Democrats next November.

“If this was the beginning of a plan to subvert the will of the voters and replace it with the will of the political elite, I assure you Donald Trump will not be the only one leaving the party,” said Ben Carson’s campaign after reports surfaced of a closed door meeting by party leaders to lay out a nomination strategy.

Polls show Trump’s edge

The latest polls, released throughout the week, indicate Trump remains on top in national standings but is seeing increased competition in early voting states.

A WBUR poll released on Friday showed Trump with a double-digit lead in the first primary state New Hampshire but continued to face increased competition from other candidates including: Chris Christie, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.

New Hampshire Standings:
Trump (27%)
Christie (11%)
Rubio (11%)
Cruz (10%)
Bush (7%)

Over the past week, Trump faced increasing vocal opposition from his GOP competitors over plans to temporarily ban all Muslim immigration in the United States.

Within hours of making his announcement, several GOP leaders and candidates trashed the idea as the opposite of the values the party supports.

Democrats look to the general election

While the Republicans are nowhere close to consensus in choosing a nominee, polls indicate Democrats remain committed to former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

A CBS/New York Times poll showed Clinton with a commanding lead over both Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley.

National Democratic Standings:
Clinton (52%)
Sanders (32%)
O’Malley (2%)

The three remaining Democratic candidates are scheduled for their final debate of 2015 on Saturday Dec. 19 in Manchester, New Hampshire.

 

WIVB.com provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s