GOP Debate #4: Quick Thoughts



Quick observations:

  • Biggest winners? Fox Business. The moderators were not perfect, but did not try to inject themselves too much into the discussion. They asked, for the most part, relevant, policy centered questions. ¬†An infinite improvement over the CNBC debate.
  • Winners: Cruz, Fiorina, and Rubio. Cruz was solid on the points he wanted to get across. Fiorina brought her A game, improved over the last debate. As for Rubio, he had his moments, but overall, this was probably his worst debate; telling that he was still better than most people on the stage.
  • Losers: Kasich, by far. Irritating, interrupting, whining about air time. Jeb was a relative loser, because he couldn’t make a splash. It was probably Bush’s best debate performance, but not enough to change the trajectory of his campaign.
  • Other candidates largely held par. Trump was solid at times. Carson seemed, once again, lost on policy specifics, but that may not matter to his followers. Rand Paul lost an exchange with Rubio over the size of the military, but otherwise had his best debate.
  • Overall, this was a relatively solid debate for all the candidates, and far better than the prior CNBC debate or the lone Democrat debate when it came to discussion of specific policy issues.
  • In the end, this is quickly shaping up to be a Marco Rubio vs. Ted Cruz matchup. Oh, I know, Carson and Trump lead in the polls…but I still don’t believe those numbers are hard, and I believe that they will erode as we approach Iowa and New Hampshire.