How Will The Republican Presidential Debate Play Out In Houston?

“You’ve got a lot of money that might be at stake. This is like the Superbowl for politics.”

By Rhonda FanningJanuary 20, 2016 4:58 pm| ,

For a big event like a wedding, most people leave the details to an event planner. But what about, say, the Oscars or an award show? That takes teams of people to plan.

When the big day arrives, tickets have been sold out, private jets are beginning to touch down, hotels are at capacity and area restaurants are trying to keep up with reservations. Countless press trucks parked outside and the media room is buzzing. Green rooms are stocked with champagne on ice. Now you’re just awaiting the main event’s contestants.

No, we’re not talking NFL players – we’re talking presidential candidates.

The Republican National Committee announced yesterday that Houston will host a GOP debate in late February. Let’s pull the curtain back, so to speak, and talk about the planning that goes into these events.

Brandon Rottinghaus, associate professor of political science at the University of Houston, says the candidates accused the moderators of neglecting the issues, so the party “balked” at holding the convention in Houston. CNN will now host the debate but the venue is undecided, he says.

“You’ve got a lot of money that might be at stake,” he says. “This is like the Superbowl for politics.”

What you’ll hear in this segment:

– How a “subtraction effect” may keep residents at home during the convention

– What economic gain a city may have by hosting a convention versus hosting sporting events

– The larger cultural effects in play when a city hosts a debate