A broken system for choosing the nominee
This country needs to think more about the consequences of the changing presidential primary election cycle. The debates in the Republican presidential primaries amount to a relatively cheap to produce reality game shows. All the participants have a chance to win the big prize, and you need to include the celebrity moderator/panelists from the news media as the possible show's real winner.
You can't have a real debate with eight candidates on the stage. These so-called debates are really a question and answer session with a little "I've been attacked" rebuttal time thrown in for the candidates to use if they get attacked by another candidate. The rebuttal time is done mostly for the drama that any conflict may produce, though it is billed as a fairness issue, and assures the show's producers of the candidates' participation.
The celebrity media questioners like the format for the opportunity they have to put to a candidate a difficult question and to be a part of the national political selection process. Often the questioner frames their question to try for a gotcha moment. The Media Celebrity Questioner wants to be the to be the one that asks the question that will redirect or stall a candidate's campaign. A successful gotcha moment is the big win for the celebrity questioners. The chance for the public to learn more about the issues and a given candidate's proposed solution to an issue gets lost in the battle for great sound bites and the very limited amount of time allowed per question
A question from the media celebrity often takes nearly as long to ask as its intended victim has to answer it. I think that this is done most often to show the public how well versed the in political events the questioner is, though it may sometimes be done to confuse the candidate.
The candidates like the game show format because it gives them a national audience for free. They can save money and have more time to get a campaign structure together for the final election run, if they get to be the party nominee. Acandidate's big win is a big jump in poll numbers, if the candidate does well in the reality game show.
This cheap new method for entering into Presidential political arena will not make the field of candidates any smaller in the future. The number of big egos on parade will likely expand in the future till this system collapses from its own weight.
You can make an argument both ways about whether this emerging system will produce better candidates for the country, but I see the flaws of the system becoming worse in future elections.
It isn't a Republican thing either. When the Democrats don't have an incumbent to run, the problems will be the same.