Another GOP Debate has come and gone. With only eight contenders on the main stage, candidates were given several opportunities to prove their policy chops. But, according to ABC News contributors Matthew Dowd and LZ Granderson, there weren’t many game-changers.
Winners and Losers
Similar to the analysis from the previous debate, Dowd maintains that, after tonight, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, and Marco Rubio will continue to succeed, and Ted Cruz made himself more competitive. Granderson agrees those four were the top candidates to emerge, but that Bush will continue to “stick around.”
POLICY-WISE, NOT SO GOOD FOR THE FRONTRUNNERS
Dowd and Granderson both agree that Trump and Carson are far ahead of the rest of the field in the polls, so it is unlikely this debate will significantly bring them down. But from a policy perspective, they said, both appeared weak. “He basically disappeared,” Dowd said of Trump. Rand Paul had to correct Trump about the Trans-Pacific Partnership, reminding the moderator that China was not involved in the agreement. And Carson gave several fumbled answers, which Granderson categorized as “nonsensical,” among other things.
The son and brother of two former Presidents once again needed to have a breakout night. And once again, he didn’t, although he refrained from attacking his protégé Rubio. “I know he has a ton of money and great credentials on paper, but at some point you have to show people voting for you that you’re a strong man,” Granderson said. Dowd agreed, commenting that could be why he isn’t resonating with voters. “This is an election where they’re searching for strength. Jeb doesn’t have that manly quality people want,” he noted.
HOW WILL THE STAGE CHANGE FOR THE NEXT DEBATE? Both agree that Fiorina, Kasich, and likely Rand Paul are teetering on the edge of the undercard debate. “I would be really surprised to see Fiorina on the stage again,” Granderson said.