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The thing about the format is that it, uh... blows. Thirty seconds for a rebuttal? What kind of "debate" is that?
The part of the debate, towards the end, where they started having a Jesus-off and talking about the blood of Christ was kind of weird.
Trump: Minus his opening comments about Rosie O'Donnell, he surprised me by not making an ass of himself (by his standards, anyway). The thing is, Trump plays by different rules. As long as he's honest (or appears honest) and abrasive, he's done well. And he was both of those things. The people who showed up to the debate might not like that he wouldn't pledge his support to the GOP, but I think most conservative voters see that as a positive, not a negative. His whole persona is anti-establishment. "Our country's leaders are stupid," etc. What else did they expect?
Cruz: There's something about Cruz that seems to rub people the wrong way. He didn't change that last night.
Paul: He got his ass handed to him by Christie over the NSA thing, but otherwise I thought he did pretty well. Still, the GOP base doesn't like libertarians. If they were ever going to nominate one, it would have been his (by far more charismatic) father. I haven't looked at his budget, but the fact that he has already proposed one, in my opinion, makes him more transparent than other candidates at this point, and that's a good thing.
Huckabee: I thought he probably did as well as anyone else on the stage. I find his social policies repulsive, and I can't believe he's wasting his time and money by running again, but I guess he's free to do as he pleases.
Kaisak: He came off as one of the most reasonable men on the stage. If GOP voters were listening to the debate at all--instead of just selectively hearing what they wanted to hear--than I would have to think his numbers will improve.
Jeb Bush: I think when the Trump hype blows over, he's the next guy in line, and he didn't do anything to dissuade me of that last night. His foreign policy is probably the most coherent of any of the candidates. He handled questions about common core rather well. He's possibly the most boring man in American politics, but there are worse things to be.
Rubio: He was at the debate? Really? ... Are you sure? In all seriousness, he didn't hurt himself, but he didn't say anything that really stood out to me.
Christie: Did very well in the exchange with Rand Paul. I don't know how conservatives feel about giving the NSA more power, as he proposed, but he at least argued his position very well.
Walker: Was one of the people who went on for a bit about Jesus. I don't feel as though he had any big moments, anyway.
Carson: Seemed likable enough but it's also apparent that he's totally unqualified.