Former President Donald Trump has hinted at the possibility of his participation in future Republican presidential primary debates. During the first debate, the former president chose to forgo the event, instead opting for a pre-recorded interview with former Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
The upcoming second debate is scheduled to take place on September 27th at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California. The event will be televised on Fox Business and Univision. When questioned about his potential involvement in future debates during an interview on Todd Starnes's radio show on August 31st, President Trump did not rule out the idea, stating, "I might. I mean, you know, it’s possible."
President Trump expressed his fondness for debating, suggesting that he emerged victorious in previous debates. "I liked debating. I guess I won because of the debates," he remarked. "You know, they’ve been very good to me, so I might, but at this moment, I’m leading by so much that it seems to be foolish to do it."
According to FiveThirtyEight's GOP presidential primary poll average as of August 30th, President Trump maintains a commanding lead with 50.3 percent support nationally. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trails far behind at 14.8 percent.
Regarding his interview with Tucker Carlson on X (formerly known as Twitter), President Trump described it as a "tremendous success," opining that it was a preferable alternative to a traditional debate.
In terms of viewership, the first debate held in Wisconsin on August 23rd attracted approximately 13 million viewers. In contrast, the Trump–Tucker interview garnered nearly 200 million views as of August 24th, although views on X are counted when a post is seen, regardless of whether the viewer watched the entire video.
A recent Economist-YouGov poll indicates that 61 percent of Republicans expressed strong or somewhat approval of President Trump's decision not to participate in the first debate, while 22 percent disapproved, and the remaining 16 percent were unsure. The poll, conducted between August 26th and August 29th, also revealed that 57 percent of Republicans believe President Trump should participate in the second debate, while 17 percent hold the opposite view, and 26 percent are uncertain.
During the interview with Todd Starnes, the former president was asked if he spotted any potential running mates at the debate. While Arizona Republican candidate Kari Lake was suggested as a choice, President Trump did not provide a response.