Charleston will be in the political spotlight over the next few days. We have the Fox Business GOP debate at the Coliseum on Thursday night and the NBC democratic debate at the Gaillard Center on Sunday night.
NBC Correspondent Hallie Jackson says, “Whenever there’s a debate in a particular town or city, especially when it’s in such a key early state like South Carolina, there’s always a sense of excitement and there’s always a sense of that your city, Charleston, is now on the national map. It has been for a while, but this just highlights that.”
North Charleston Coliseum Director of Marketing, Alan Coker, says, “It’s bringing national and international attention to our venues, and having them here the entire week and having Fox News broadcast all week long brings us a lot of attention and we’re excited to be able to show the country and the world what we have here.”
Media are lining up, covering the grass in front of the Coliseum. Preparations beginning on Wednesday for coverage from local affiliates up to national networks. News 2 spoke to NBC correspondent Hallie Jackson about how this debate will be different from the many others she has traveled to cover.
Jackson says, “I think the biggest differences we’re going to see are more attacks coming from the different candidates. Right now you see Ted Cruz start to implement what seems to be a new strategy against Donald Trump, attacking him more directly. And then as far as the more establishment side, the folks like Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, we’ll probably see them go at each other just like they have been doing in New Hampshire and Iowa.”
She says there are still many people watching who haven’t decided who to support, so this debate could help sway them toward one candidate.
Jackson says, “They may not know who they want to support just yet, given that you have some time before the primary, but they know they want to start to get informed about the decision they are going to make.”
Tickets are no longer available for the debate. Two debates will be taking place tomorrow, the first at six and the second at nine. The Coliseum says doors open at 4:30pm, but if you plan to attend for the 6pm debate, be prepared to stay until the end of the 9pm debate.