In the latest episode of the PBD Podcast, Patrick Bet-David was joined by Vincent Oshana, Adam Sosnik, and “Biz Doc” Tom Ellsworth for a discussion of today’s biggest news stories. With the first Republican debate just over 24 hours away, a particular focus was the state of the presidential race.

Here are some of the main takeaways from this episode:

1. “Trump Deserves a Bye Week” – Donald Trump Skips First Republican Debate

In a bold campaign strategy, Trump—who currently leads the GOP field by more than 40 points—has decided to skip the first primary debate in Milwaukee. Instead, he prerecorded an interview with Tucker Carlson that will air at the same time as the event just to spite Fox News. “People know my record, so why would I debate?” Trump reportedly said.

With all of Trump’s ongoing legal challenges, PBD and the team agreed that the former president has more important things to focus on than a debate—especially when he already has 55.9% support.

But just because Trump won’t be in attendance doesn’t mean his name won’t come up. The debate stage will be packed with both Trump supporters and Trump haters, and the Home Team laid out their predictions for who will try to hit Trump the hardest.

2. “An Absolute Superstar” – Predicting the Top Performers

With Trump absent from the debate, the stage is wide open for another candidate to dominate. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, in second and third place respectively, will be taking center stage—and that means taking incoming fire from other candidates.

But despite the likely attacks against both DeSantis and Ramaswamy, the Home Team is still convinced that both candidates will perform well. Ramaswamy, a relentless campaigner who has made serious progress, is poised to gain ground and potentially secure the number-two spot. At the same time, DeSantis has the opportunity to prove himself as a counter-puncher…assuming his strategy for fighting back is effective. But each member of the team also had some surprise predictions about the underdog candidates that might have a moment onstage.

3. “Listless Vessels” – Ron DeSantis Attacks Donald Trump

Once a major Trump supporter, Ron DeSantis has been trying to carve out a space for himself to compete against the former president. However, his attacks against Trump might be backfiring in unexpected ways. DeSantis says that the movement can’t be about the personality of one man, but his warning against acting like “listless vessels” have many drawing comparisons to Hillary Clinton’s “basket of deplorables” moment.

PBD and the Home Team discussed how the undying support behind Trump is making it difficult for DeSantis to get ahead.

4. “Sell Me the Dream!” – The Key to a DeSantis Comeback

It’s no secret that Ron DeSantis has been struggling to gain ground since the early weeks of his campaign. Once almost tied with Trump, the Florida governor has since fallen to a distant second and hasn’t made much progress since then.

But in an epic strategy breakdown, PBD spelled out perhaps the best way for DeSantis to prove he has what it takes to be president. The only question now is whether Governor DeSantis will take PBD’s advice before tomorrow night’s debate.

See what else Patrick, Vinny, Adam, and Tom had to say in this video!

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