Poll: Republicans would watch debates without Trump

Even without Donald Trump, most Republican voters would watch the televised presidential debates.

A vox populi poll shared with the Washington Examiner on Friday found that 81 percent of likely Republican voters would still tune into televised debates that did not include Trump, the New York billionaire developer and reality television star leading the GOP field. Only 15 percent said they wouldn't watch.

The automated national survey, conducted on Thursday, also found that 61 percent planned to "definitely" watch the next debate, scheduled for Tuesday in Milwaukee and hosted by the Fox Business Network and the Wall Street Journal. The poll found 27 percent expected they would "probably" watch and 11 percent said they probably wouldn't.

The poll had an error margin of 3.5 percentage points. Additional findings include:

  • 65 percent wanted to see New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the prime time debate. He failed to qualify for the main stage in Tuesday's debate and has, for the first time, been relegated to the undercard.
  • 16 percent wanted to see Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina in the prime time debate. He failed to qualify for either the main stage or the undercard.
  • 38 percent wanted to see Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky in prime time. He was the eighth and final qualifier for the FBN/WSJ prime-time broadcast.
  • 46 percent wanted to see former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee in prime time. Like Christie, Milwaukee will mark his first debate on the undercard stage.
  • 70 percent wanted to see businesswoman Carly Fiorina in prime time. She qualified in the sixth position.

The last debate was broadcast Oct. 28 by financial news network CNBC. The poll showed that 62 percent of Republican voters viewed the much-maligned event as "unfair" to the GOP candidates.

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