Debate's on for Trump: The Donald will "definitely" be at Fox News debate Thursday, spokeswoman says

But rumors persist he might skip out if he trounces competition on Super Tuesday

Published March 1, 2016 8:21PM (EST)

Donald Trump (AP)
Donald Trump (AP)

Republican front-runner Donald Trump will be attending Fox News Channel's GOP debate on Thursday after considering pulling a no-show dependent on his Super Tuesday results.

According to New York Magazine, a highly valued source familiar with the Trump campaign said the businessman's thinking was that by not attending, he could send a powerful message to rivals Cruz and Rubio that he no longer values them a credible threat for the nomination. The source also said that by refraining, Trump could have the added bonus of depriving the channel's chief, Roger Ailes, and star anchor Megyn Kelly, of high ratings.

"Why give them the audience?" the source explained. The last Trump-less debate shuddered Fox ratings down by 50 percent, with just 12.5 million viewers compared to 25 million for the first.

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks told New York Magazine that Trump would "definitely" be attending Thursday's debate and only wanted to maintain an element of surprise.

However, a Fox News on-air personality, who wasn't identified, also told NY Mag that reports were circulating Trump would miss the debate if he won Super Tuesday, which he's expected to do by a landslide. "Rumor has it if he does well ... he's then going to blow it off."

A recent YouGov poll found that Fox News' perception among Republican adults has fallen by 50 percent since January.

By Antoaneta Roussi

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Elections 2016 Fox News Megyn Kelly Republican Debate Roger Ailes Super Tuesday