The poll that former President Donald Trump cited over the weekend to justify not participating in the Republican Party primary debates shows that the overwhelming majority of Republican voters want him to show up and debate.
Trump cited a CBS News poll that showed him at 62%, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 16%, and everyone else in the single digits to explain why he did not plan to make a showing at the debates.
He added that he believes that voters already know who he is and concluded by stating: “I WILL THEREFORE NOT BE DOING THE DEBATES!”
In new Truth Social post, Trump says he won’t be doing debates (plural). pic.twitter.com/SaSD9ptGDv
— Bill Melugin (@BillMelugin_) August 20, 2023
However, a review of the poll’s cross-tabs shows that likely Republican primary voters want Trump to show up.
Likely GOP primary voters were asked, “Do you think Donald Trump should or should not participate in the Republican debate?”
In response, 73% said that he “should” show up to the debate while just 27% said that he “should not.”
Some of the president’s top media allies have urged him to show up, arguing that he could be hurting himself later if he becomes the nominee.
“Fox & Friends” co-host Steve Doocy said Monday, “Unfortunately, by skipping the debates, Donald Trump may actually be helping Joe Biden because he’s giving Joe Biden an excuse for not debating Donald Trump.”
“That’s one of the things that Ronna McDaniel told the former president when she was trying to get him to do the first debate,” he continued. “But he said, nope, not going to do it.”
Doocy explained that “if Donald Trump says, ‘everybody knows me, I don’t need to do it’, then Joe Biden goes, ‘everybody knows me, I’m president’.”
“Joe Biden would love to see Trump not do it, then he’s got a perfect [response]: ‘I don’t have to do it either then, he didn’t do it!’,” he addd.