Republican front-runner Donald Trump won’t be at the Fox News debate on Thursday.
After moderator and Fox News star Megyn Kelly asked Trump a question he thought was biased during August’s debate, the leading candidate decided to sit Thursday out.
Trump’s decision has many wondering if it will affect him during next week’s Iowa Caucus.
"It probably wasn't a good idea on his part,” said Angelina County Republican Party Chairman Donald Baum.
In fact, his absence on Thursday makes Republican leaders here in East Texas question his ability to lead the free world.
"He's the type of person that if he can't things the way that he wants or if he isn’t able to manipulate the situation, he's going to take his toys and go,” said Nacogdoches County Republican Party Chairman Andrew Higdon.
"I think his mind is still in his TV days where he can say ‘you're fired,’” Baum said. “Well, he can't do that to Megyn Kelly and if he tries to that on the world stage, then it’s going to be a problem.
However, this could be positive for the other Republican candidates on Thursday.
"On the other hand, the other candidates will have more time and won't be interrupted by Mr. Trump,” Baum said.
This could especially benefit Texas Senator Ted Cruz, who's nationally polling in second place. However, in Angelina and Nacogdoches counties, he is the front runner and Thursday’s debate could be a big defining moment for him.
“I think it'll be one of these chances that I think he's been looking for, to have a strong showing as a front runner, which he hasn't had yet,” Higdon explained.
Although Trump is projected to take Iowa, New Hampshire, and eventually the GOP presidential nomination, there's still a chance the tide can change in Cruz's favor.
"If he can have a good strong showing Thursday, do well in the Iowa Caucus, and even New Hampshire, then I think you'll see a spiral where it will be a close race,” Higdon said.