Breaking Down The GOP Debate with Matthew Dowd and LZ Granderson: Winners and Losers

Matt and LZ Break Down the GOP Debate Winners and LosersPlayABCNews.com
WATCH Matt and LZ Break Down the GOP Debate Winners and Losers

ABC News political analysts Matthew Dowd and LZ Granderson wrapped up Wednesday night's debate discussing the winners -- and losers -- of the night and everyone in between.

The second round of GOP debates, which featured 11 Republican presidential candidates on the main stage and four others at a gathering of lower-tier contenders, was filled with jaw-dropping moments and some great one-liners.

Donald Trump was a bulls eye for attacks, Carly Fiorina stole the show, and Lindsey Graham was a zinger machine.

Here's a look at some of Dowd and Granderson top takeaways from the night:

On the undercard debate:

DOWD: Let’s talk about the arrangement of the 4 candidates [lower-tier debate] – they had done this in height order for some reason, but it was from tallest to smallest.

GRANDERSON: It’s also boring to most interesting. I thought Lindsey had a lot of great zingers

DOWD: He [Lindsey Graham] was big on military action.

GRANDERSON: I mean it seems like his answer to every single question- “Hey what are you going to do about social security- kill somebody!”

DOWD: He is trigger happy…

GRANDERSON: I don’t want to downplay his experiences in the military, but there’s got to be a way to communicate the needs for protecting America’s interest without sounding as if you’re trying to bomb everyone who disagrees with our philosophy.

On Fiorina’s strength:

GRANDERSON: Donald trump doesn’t have a lot of leverage- I think Fiorina really shined.

DOWD: Carly either equaled him or beat [Trump], I don’t think he knew had to deal with a strong woman.

GRANDERSON: She [Carly] was very impressive- in fact my son was up watching and he texted me saying ‘yo she’s coming up strong’ On Trump’s lost momentum during the debate

DOWD: I think Trump came away having lost this debate ... I think the biggest problem he had was all these mannerisms, he actually started to become petty.

A person [on Twitter] wrote, “Donald Trump just did every emoji face on your phone in 7 seconds.”

GRANDERSON: He was the only candidate, perhaps him and Christie, that actually looked like the debate was taking a toll on him.

DOWD: Tonight you saw his age.

GRANDERSON: Yeah, and you saw it in not a good way. …

On why Carly shined:

DOWD: As we each said, Carly I thought was the big winner out of tonight, and I think she’ll rise in the polls. But I think her important comment tonight was her first real response to Trump’s comments in rolling stone - about her face. … That was a 15 second dagger.

GRANDERSON: I’m not sure if she was prepared for that question or not, but man did she have a money shot answer.

DOWD: He’s [Trump] never really dealt with a smart, strong woman except in an antagonistic way.

GRANDERSON: She [Carly Fiorina] has this quality about her that Hillary Clinton would love to have - to come across as presidential, but also likable and relatable.

DOWD: I think she has a blank slate with the American people...that’s one of the advantages Carly has.