The 5th GOP debate definitely had it’s share of notable moments, including some heated interactions between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump, and between Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. But did it actually change the course of the race? ABC News contributors Matthew Dowd and LZ Granderson break down the night.
Overall takeaway: Donald Trump quiet - but nothing major “I don’t think this debate changed the dynamics of the race of at all,” said Dowd. Granderson agreed. He noted that Trump’s silence as a frontrunner in a debate focused on a preeminent topic like terrorism was “astounding,” but that he has been quiet during debates before and it hasn’t changed his frontrunner status.
The Jeb/Donald Moment Jeb Bush pulled out all the stops against Donald Trump, attacking him on both his character and policy. “That was the first night in which you saw Jeb fight,” said Granderson. But Dowd thinks Bush came on too late in the game. He got under Trump’s skin, he said, but it came four debates too late.
Marco Rubio: Establishment Favorite? Rubio is often discussed as a candidate the establishment can actually get behind, and Dowd thought the Florida senator’s showing this debate only confirmed that. “I thought Marco Rubio had the best night,” said Dowd.
Final 4//Next dropout It's unclear who will be on the stage when the candidates next convene. Dowd thinks Rand Paul or Carly Fiorina are the next ones to drop out. As for the final four, Dowd and Granderson are in agreement that Rubio, Trump and Christie will be among the last ones standing. However, Dowd's final four are Trump, Cruz, Rubio and Christie, while Granderson's are Trump, Christie, Rubio and Bush.