Why the GOP is reining in the number of presidential primary debates

The reasonable worry from anyone suspicious of party elders is that limiting the number of debates will give an advantage to candidates who have the backing and financial support of the party establishment. Scrappy candidates, or those who start late, who may not have that much money but thrill members of the movement, need debates to increase their exposure. But that’s just what worries those who want to change the rules. They fear the party will be hijacked by charismatic but unqualified candidates who perform well in contests that do nothing to test whether a candidate is fit for office. These candidates don’t have enough support to win, but they have enough to tear down the party’s eventual nominee in a way that weakens him for the general election.

The Republican Party wants an orderly process so that their candidates can put their best foot forward. We should all want that too. But those who were involved in the previous primary season say a number of other distractions still exist. Republican donors pressuring the RNC to make even more rule changes want conservatives to do the questioning, not journalists from the television networks. Conservative commentators understand the issues primary voters care about. If the networks want to cover the debates, they can cover them like they would a campaign rally.

Critics of the current system also think this would cut down on the show business distractions.

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