The first Republican Primary debate was held last May in South Carolina, with Governor Rick Perry joining in by the fifth debate in California on September 7th.
Recently the debates have been just days apart — candidates are facing off five times this month alone. Political analyst Nancy Sims points out the pressure of earlier state primaries. But she says voters are paying attention.
“I think that we’re seeing more and more demand by voters to have direct conversation with multiple candidates. We’ve had debates in years past, but also we’re having an earlier primary season this year, so you’re seeing more debates sooner.”
The debates have been across multiple states, and Sims says, while they’re being television nationally, they’re actually aimed at audiences in the early primary voting states. The fortunes of candidates have risen and fallen in reaction to debate performances.
“The more the voters get to know the candidates, the more they’re changing their opinions on a regular basis. So the exposure from these debates is having an effect on the ratings in the polls for the candidates.”
But could a couple dozen televised debates lead to voter fatigue?
“I think the voters have fatigue across the board, Ed. I think that this year, you know, it started so much earlier than normal. So the Republicans have so many candidates running for president this time, that it has increased the media’s attention on the race.”
Currently there are eight contenders in the GOP Primary debates.