When Republicans running for the White House take the stage for their second debate on Wednesday, Donald Trump will be in the middle once again, as the frontrunner.
But he may find himself sharing the focus, to his dislike possibly, with retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson, who has been surging in polls, and former HP CEO Carly Fiorina.
The three of them, described as “outsiders” for their lack of experience in politics — Fiorina ran once for senate, and failed — are dominating the Republican race and the narrative.
Trump remains at the top, according to a New York Times-CBS poll released Tuesday, but Carson seems to have pulled along side, as a close second, surging in recent days.
Fiorina will be joining them at the prime time debate, which will follow the kiddie-table debate for those who failed to make it to the A league because of bad poll numbers.
Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal, who doesn’t want to be identified as Indian-American, will remain in the kiddie-table debate for the second time this election cycle.
Rick Perry dropped out of the race last week, leaving 16 still in the race; 11 of them will figure in the prime-debate and the rest will battle it out in the kiddie-table round.
Trump, who grabbed the top slot shortly after announcing his run in June, continues to confound pundits and some in the Republican party by retaining, and extending, his lead.
And he letting everyone know how he feels about it. “You know, I haven’t heard the word ‘clown’ anymore,” Trump remarked at a rally on Monday, referring to how he was described by some earlier.
Carson is increasingly sharing the limelight with Trump, charting his own surge, impressing people with his intellect and calm deposition, in direct contrast to the flashier Trump.