A series of campaign events will narrow the Republican presidential field, although this could be the year of the longshot.
Finance Reports: Even though one billionaire can change the game, money in the bank for field workers in primary states and ads is the currency of staying in the game.
Debates: With the debates using polls for the picking the top ten, the Perrys, Kasichs, Grahams, etc. are going to become invisible.
2015 and 2016 Debate Schedule
August 6 – Fox, Cleveland, Ohio
September 16 – CNN, Reagan Library
October – CNBC, Denver
November – Fox Business, Wisconsin
December – CNN, Nevada
January – Fox, Iowa
February – ABC, New Hampshire (no Stephanopoulos)
February – CBS, South Carolina
February 26 – NBC, Telemundo, National Review, Texas
March – (2 more)
Primaries: Candidates will try to pick and choose primaries and caucuses, but momentum from coverage and bragging rights builds quickly. The new SEC event could be the final entry point or the dropout event for a host of candidates.
Each presidential nominating contest has unique aspects. In 2016, the unpredictable influence of billionaires, the gatekeeping of debates, the speed of social media and the accelerated schedule, especially the inclusion of southern primaries, will set some boundaries, but the strategies and performances of the candidates will still have significant impact and can launch an underdog or sink a frontrunner within hours.