This was the week the GOP field grew to 17, and the campaign went to Scotland.
By SHUSHANNAH WALSHE
August 2, 2015, 11:17 AM
• 6 min read
-- It was the week Scotland had something in common with Iowa and New Hampshire, red trucker hats became the new sweater vest, and the GOP 2016 field now stands at a lucky number 17. Oh and there was a Friday Clinton document dump for the ages.
Here’s a glimpse at some of the stories the ABC News political team will be tracking in the week ahead:
FIGHT NIGHT -- Thursday is the first presidential debate. It's another marker -- if you needed one -- the 2016 campaign is in full swing. All eyes will be on Donald Trump and the target on his back. It's the candidates who made it to the Top 10, but need the exposure who will likely be going after Trump. Others -- Jeb Bush and Scott Walker -- may try to ignore the very hard to ignore Trump. They will weigh being the “adult in the room” over taking down The Donald. Of course, not everyone will be on that stage. Of the 17 GOP candidates, only 10 will make the cut to get a podium in Cleveland. Fox News has said they will determine the debate participants by averaging five recent national polls released before Tuesday at 5pm. What they aren’t saying? Which polls they are using. Our ABC News analysis shows it’s a death match for the final podium between Rick Perry and John Kasich. Those who don’t make the cut will be invited to a forum at 5pm, also on Fox, but of course that’s just a consolation prize.
THE PRE-SHOW -— Limiting the candidates to just the Top 10 has ruffled some feathers and not just with the candidates that won’t make the cut. In response to the way both media organizations and the RNC are deciding who will be on the debate stage, New Hampshire’s Union Leader said they wanted to do it differently and at the same time get a piece of the action. On Monday the newspaper will host the Voters First Presidential Forum where all the candidates were invited to participate. Donald Trump, Mike Huckabee, and Jim Gilmore will be no shows, but the rest of the Republican field is expected to attend. Trump said he doesn’t feel the need to participate since the paper is unlikely to endorse the billionaire businessman and reality TV star. Don’t call it a debate, instead candidates will be questioned individually from a moderator. There may be a First in the Nation focus, but it will also be broadcast on C-SPAN.
THE MORNING AFTER —- The day after the debate the fun continues at the "RedState Gathering" in Atlanta. It’s talk radio show host Erick Erickson’s two-day conservative confab and 10 of the GOP contenders are expected to take the stage. Much of the talk could be about who won or lost on Thursday and you could see the winner take a victory lap, while losers may try to make up for whatever they left in Cleveland. And for some extra fun Donald Trump isn’t just addressing the 700 attendees, he will mingle with the crowd at the “Red State Tailgate” at the College Football Hall of Fame Saturday night.
THE KOCH PRIMARY -- Several of the Republican candidates including Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, and Carly Fiorina will stop by Charles and David Koch’s Freedom Partners’ annual summer conference kicking off this weekend. They are there to woo, not just the Kochs, but other wealthy donors who will attend the conference in Southern California. It’s an opportunity for the candidates to pitch these big money donors directly while they attend sessions on conservative policy among other topics. In a world where super PACs rule, locking in megadonors is essential for a winning campaign and the conference is likely to be full of them, or at least their advisers.
CLINTON GOES WEST —- Days after a massive Friday document dump, Hillary Clinton will head to California for a fundraising swing. One of the more interesting on the schedule happens Thursday where she will attend a $2,700 per person event at the home of Scooter Braun, manager of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. But she'll need the money: election filings from late Friday night show that Jeb Bush's Super PAC raked in $103 million - more than five times Clinton's Super PAC total of about $20 million. Friday also brought document releases about her health, taxes, and all those State Departmentemails. A doctor's note says that Clinton was "fit to serve as President" and does not have any lasting effects from her concussion in 2012. Still, there are enough documents to ensure reporters will still be combing through come next week.