Carly Fiorina big winner. Trump also winner.
Let’s talk about the losers first
Jeb Bush: He had one good moment when he praised his brother for keeping us safe. Otherwise, he was the same Bush as during the last debate. Based on this debate, I don’t see that any of the 94% or so of voters who support someone else are going to now support Bush. This makes Bush a big loser. He’s supposed to be the frontrunner, but he’s a frontrunner with single-digit support.
Cruz, Paul, Rubio, Kasich, Walker: I’m lumping these together because they had the same level of performance as last time. This makes them all losers. I don’t see them gaining any support as a result of this debate.
Carson: Carson looks simultaneously nervous but also like he’s on drugs or he’s drunk. He can’t say anything without rambling. I’m not sure what people saw in him during the last debate, but I think there was even less of it in this debate. I see Carson’s support falling after this debate.
The middle men:
Mike Huckabee: I think he did a lot better this debate than last debate. He had more airtime and got to say a lot of socially conservative things. I think he can pull some of Carson’s evangelical support.
Chris Christie: He did better than last debate and maybe his poll numbers will rise a percentage point or two, but it’s not good enough for Christie to move up to the top ranks.
The also winner, Donald Trump
Those who were waiting for Trump to “implode” will be very disappointed in this debate. It went a lot better for Trump than the last debate which started with the loyalty oath that he rejected and the mean-spirited question by Megyn Kelly.
Trump seems to me like a little less of a bozo this time around, and I’m not sure if it’s because he toned things down a bit, or because I’m just getting used to him. His closing remark about how America would be better if he were elected was very Presidential and he was on top of his game (if anyone was still watching after more than three hours).
I think that a lot of voters who sort of wanted to support Trump but were on the fence will be assuaged by this debate and support him, so this debate helps Trump even though he didn’t do remarkably better than in the previous debate.
The big winner, Carly Fiorina
Now there is something about her that I find very dislikeable. As I said in the previous most, maybe it’s because she reminds me a little of the senior executive women at the company I used to work for; there’s a bitchy sociopathy about her.
On the other hand, she demonstrated a great command of the issues, speaking about the nitty-gritty of policy, and at the same time she hit a home run with the evangelical wing of the party when she ranted against abortion.
Her final remark went over the heads of prole voters, but will impress elite donors with her intelligence.
Based on this debate, I definitely think that Fiorina will rise in the polls, and that the party elites who want anyone but Trump are highly likely to rally behind her.
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I forgot to add, I am very disappointed in Donald’s Trump stupid answer about believing that vaccines are related to autism, when scientific analysis clearly shows they are not. But the proles won’t care about this so it shouldn’t hurt his poll numbers.