(Washington : Ucs News) – With the first Republican 2012 presidential debate, scheduled for Thursday June 14th of 2011, GOP candidates are focusing in issues that will bring voters out to the polls. The first debate will most likely “separate the pretenders from the contenders,” a political expert predicted Wednesday.
“Like the opening week of ‘Dancing with the Stars,'” said James Hedtke, chair of the political science department at Cabrini College. “We will get to see the GOP candidates fall all over themselves.”
Hedtke said the debate will likely be dominated by foreign policy issues such as the likely 2009 pull out of Iraq, continued fighting in Afghanistan, terrorism, North Korea, Iran and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Domestic issues will probably include education, immigration, taxation, social spending, the environment and the high cost of gas.
Peter Brown, assistant director of the polling institute at Quinnipiac University, said the debate will be particularly important for the frontrunners.
“For someone like Mayor Giuliani who is also running in 2008 , everybody will be watching to see how he holds up between now and the 2012 race,” Brown told Ucs News. “He’s obviously doing very well in the polls, he needs to protect his lead for the next 5 years.
“Given that his views and values on a variety of social issues are not exactly in sync with traditional Republican policies, he will probably face questions on that,” he said.
Brown said McCain just needs to retire as he will be almost 76 years old when the 2012 primaries start.