This primary season has had more media coverage than any in recent memory. The Republican side in particular has been reported on more than practically any domestic story over the last year thanks to the combination of a wide field of starting candidates, and the presence of Donald Trump. Televised debates have been a huge part of the process; not just to allow the candidates to solidify their positions on issues, but it’s also been a big ratings boon for the networks.
It would seem that there is no new ground to cover, as the field is down to three and we more or less know each candidate’s positions thoroughly. Some of the debates have shown very aggressive dialogue, so the value of sticking to the format is likely tapped out. However, the networks did come up with a solution: each candidate is attending a solo gathering, using a quieter town hall format to answer voter questions.
Donald Trump’s was perhaps the starkest contrast to his debate performances. Against the other candidates he hasn’t been shy to attack. Within the town hall, he brought his family and let them speak to his softer side as a father and husband. Ted Cruz used his town hall to reaffirm his positions on a number of issues; for one, he said even though he is pro-life and would explore legislation towards that goal, he would not be in favor of blocking access to birth control. John Kasich is last up, and will be holding his town hall soon in Schenectady, New York.