Fox News on Tuesday announced the lineup for the first Republican presidential debate, one that will probably be dominated by the figure standing at center stage, Donald Trump, whose attention-grabbing skills have allowed him to leap to the front of a crowded GOP field over the last six weeks.
Flanking Trump in the 10-candidate debate Thursday will be Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida and onetime GOP front-runner, and Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin.

I am glad to see Scott Walker in the center, next to Trump. The sparks that will fly from the two governors and the other candidates will indeed be interesting.

Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida, Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Govs. Chris Christie of New Jersey and John Kasich of Ohio and Ben Carson, a retired neurosurgeon, will round out the field.

Conspicuously missing from the line-up: Governors Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry. Very disappointed.

The remaining seven announced GOP candidates will be invited to participate in a separate forum earlier in the day.

"Our field is the biggest and most diverse of any party in history, and I am glad to see that every one of those extremely qualified candidates will have the opportunity to participate on Thursday," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said in a statement.

Congratulations to Mr. Priebus for pointing out the huge shift which has taken place in the country. Where does one find diversity today? In the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party. Two Latino candidates, one lady -- a high-powered former CEO to boot, and an African-American neurosurgeon. When looking at the Democratic clown-car of candidates, it looks like a nursing home.

Despite concern that the polls would vary widely, the most recent ones, including those released Tuesday morning by Bloomberg and CBS and Monday evening by Fox, all told pretty much the same story: Trump with a big lead, followed by Bush and Walker.

Trump has a big lead because of the media, not just in the media. He has been in the public eye for years with his reality shows, and for decades through his corporate wealth and controversial public life. To his credit, Trump is entertaining and engaging.

The main unanswered question over the last few days was who would be the odd man out among Kasich, Christie and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. In the end, the polls made clear that the Texan would lose.

Whether by luck or smart tactics, Kasich announced his candidacy last month, just in time to be enjoying the usual announcement bounce in polls as the debaters get picked. The bounce is not much, but so far it has been enough to put him ahead of one or both of the others in most recent surveys.

Kasich announced later, granted, but he has also been traveling the country pushing a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution. Kasich did play the media game better. There is no denying that fact. Rick Perry did terribly during the 2012 elections, making gaffes and forgetting key points from debate to debate. He was good at taking a joke and laughing at himself, though, but that Southern charm was not enough to get him into the Top Ten.

Because the differences among the bottom candidates all fell within the margins of error of the polls, the exact order was largely a matter of random chance.

This part is a difficult element to accept. Who did make the final decisions on this matter? A lot of this seems so unfair. Did they pick and choose a candidate based on diversity of opinion? Who would bring in more viewers?

Trump's support ranged broadly across subgroups within the GOP. Bush beat him barely among self-described moderates, the CBS and Bloomberg polls found, but he won among conservatives. He did less well with those earning over $100,000 and with evangelicals, the Bloomberg poll found.

Of course Trump did not do well with people who make money. The real estate mogul has no issues with raising taxes on higher income earners. None. He also has a disordered private life and a secular arrogance which turns off faith-based voters.

Final Reflection

This election is a generation in coming. The Democratic Party has one of the weakest, thinnest benches in decades, in large part because of President Obama's aggressive, regressive agenda, one which decimated Democrats across the country in 2014. Potential rising stars in the DNC saw their chances dashed, and the only strong bastions of liberalism left in the country, New England and California, are losing population, economic growth, and perhaps political influence. The Dead, White, European complex attached to the Republican Party now belongs to the Democrats, whose old and stale socialist ideology has generated eight years of frustration, stagnation, and poverty.

Republicans are off to a much better start, and with fewer debates, more consistent conflict and comparison, the GOP will have a stellar nominee come 2016.