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Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism University of Southern California

Round Two For The GOP

Republican candidates gear up for round two of the GOP debate.

With the second Republican Party debate taking place tonight at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Los Angeles residents are keeping a close eye on Donald Trump.

According to a recent CBS poll, Trump continues to top all GOP competitors with 27 percent. Despite his position, some residents are still awaiting more detailed policy goals from the Republican frontrunner.

 “I think the people are looking for Trump to move past his initial entertainer role as a politician,” said USC medical professor Kevin King. “He’s starting to be recognized as a legitimate candidate and I think that people who aren’t his core supporters need to see more from him.”

Public opinion of Trump is mixed because of his radical statements about immigrants and women. For some residents, his campaign strategies make them question the validity of his run for the White House.

“I have serious concerns that Donald Trump is considered the GOP frontrunner,” said Ali Anderson. “He has some very controversial thoughts and opinions on race and women and immigration; all which make him seem more like a cartoon character than a credible politician.”

His most recent insult about Carly Fiorina, the only female Republican candidate, sparked backlash from both Republicans and Democrats. The remark, in which Trump implied she was ugly, echoes other sentiments from Trump degrading women.

For Brianna Johnson, women’s representation in media is much larger than Donald Trump. “I don’t think you can look at what Donald Trump says and say that is how the media is treating women,” said Johnson. “Trump is always in the media but I don’t think Trump is representative of how the media is treating women as a whole.”

While the media has been heavily focused on Trump, another Republican presidential candidate’s support has been increasing in the polls. Ben Carson is close behind Trump at 23 percent. Tonight’s debate is being viewed as an opportunity for Americans to solidify their opinions on who would make the best candidate.

“I think tonight is a big swing point for Americans,” said Tom Miller, a USC undergrad. “I think that once you see how a candidate can speak publicly and how they can compete with the other candidates live, that’s when you can see who they are as a person.”

There still exists some skepticism surrounding the debate. Miller believes that viewers should take what the candidates say with a grain of salt. “A lot of candidates are going to be saying what people want to hear and not necessarily what they are going to do or follow through with except for Trump.”

Though Trump is criticized because of his rhetoric, he is playing a major part in sparking public debate. “He is talking about things that people believe in,” said King. “So, it is better to have that out in the open than to have some people using cover topics to have closeted racism or anti-immigration feelings.”

 Source: CBS Polls

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