December 15, 2015

Quick thoughts on tonight's GOP debate

I don't expect to see a lot of fireworks at tonight's GOP debate. Donald Trump may be tempted to take on his latest surging rival - Ted Cruz - but with two polls showing an updraft for Trump currently, he may not want to risk an attack any more robust than what he's gone with in previous debates.

However the same may not hold true for Ted Cruz.  He may have learned to take a page from Trump and could be equating feistiness with improving poll numbers.  The fight alone might bring him into prominence, and he may decide to provoke a confrontation with Trump instead of the media this time.  In fact with time running low, he may not have a choice.  If he goads Trump into a tit-for-tat war, all bets are off.  It will become a wild card situation.

Where does that leave others in the debate?  Many have already been left in the dust - they just don't know it yet. Bush, Kasich will be marginalized completely unless they step up at this debate.  Bush has shown he can't, and Kasich has shown he can't do it the right way.  

Fiorina has paled over the last two months and I don't see how she gets her mojo back.  She doesn't need to hit a home run, but she's getting closer to needing one.  She needs a really solid performance here or she also could become an afterthought.

Two contenders I think may still have a chance are Rubio, who can play on his polling head-to-head versus Clinton, and Ben Carson, who having faded, also needs a solid performance, particularly on foreign affairs and showing some fortitude and hunger to win.

That's just some quick thoughts.  The debates will be an interesting watch. I'd remind candidates that anything they say can and will be used by Democrats come the general election, so don't get too much blood on your hands.
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