The first official debate of the 2016 political season will be held next Thursday in Cleveland, Ohio. Only the 10 candidates with the highest average standing in a combination of horse race polls will be in the prime-time debate. This is to a great degree a matter of name recognition.
The top net favorable rating among Republicans? That would be Marco Rubio, with a net favorable of +40. He’s followed by Ben Carson at +37 and Scott Walker at +36.
To whom does Donald Trump appeal most? The biggest and most interesting factor is education.
On the Democratic side, the evidence is showing that Hillary Clinton’s image among Democrats has not been deteriorating as much as some have suggested. Her favorable rating among Democrats was between 65 percent and 70 percent three weeks ago, and it is at about the same level today. Bernie Sanders? His name recognition and favorable rating has not risen among Democrats over the last three weeks in any substantial way.
One of the most important topics in the debate, and indeed in the entire presidential election, will be the economy. Right now that’s not looking so good from the perspective of the American people.