While the pundits’ reviews of the fourth GOP debate were incredibly mixed, most immediate online polls in which the public was invited to vote for who performed the best at the debate gave the nod to Donald Trump. The unscientific online polls are the only available poll results for a few days. The scientific, defined polls take several days to accumulate data which then needs to be reported on. The debate which focused on the candidates’ economic policies was held in Milwaukee on Tuesday night, according to The Hill on Wednesday.
The highly-publicized Drudge Report online poll gave Donald Trump 38 percent of the vote as of Wednesday morning. Sen. Ted Cruz received 22 percent, Sen. Rand Paul received 16 percent and Sen. Marco Rubio scored 12 percent. The other candidates including Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson and Gov. John Kasich took in five percent or less. The Time Magazine’s online poll showed Trump as the winner again. He earned 43 percent of that vote with Paul coming in second with 19 percent and Rubio scoring 15 percent. Cruz had 7 percent of the vote with Kasich getting 5 percent. Fiorina and Carson came in last with just 4 percent each.
Compared to the previous debates, this debate featured fewer fireworks. According to USA Today, one positives of the night was that there were fewer people on stage. This time around, there was not an over-crowded stage with 10 or 11 candidates debating as was seen in the first three debates. While it could have been by design of each candidate or the fact that the topics were simply less firework-worthy, many pundits are asserting that this debate turned out much better for the debaters and the viewing public. Moderation of the debate by Maria Bartiromo of Fox Business was conducted in a much more professional manner than the last three debates as she did a good job of concentrating on the issues Americans want to hear about – as opposed to the questions asked by Fox’s Megyn Kelly in the first debate. Kelly opened her questioning of Trump by putting herself center stage with her ‘gotcha’ moment. She smirked and commented and asked Trump about his ‘calling women names’ in the distant past. Considering the professionalism of Bartiromo at the helm on Tuesday night – compared to the likes of Fox’s Megyn Kelly and the MSNBC performance in the last debate – Kelly, Fox and MSNBC have been cast in more of an incredibly bad light. Tuesday was a well-moderated, professionally-handled debate thanks to Fox Business and their staff. They proved that even with the many ‘characters’ running for president, a debate can be conducted with dignity.
Thus far, the pundits are saying that Trump was less combative than in the past which likely helped his image for positive results in the online polls. It was said that Rubio came across strong in this debate as he had in the last debate – though others onstage challenged his conservativism regarding government spending when he suggested new programs to help American parents. In spite of his being Republican, he put up a good argument for there being programs to financially assist parents. Since the last debate, Rubio has seen a steady increase in his national poll numbers – and it appears they will continue to increase after a decent performance on Tuesday night.
Jeb Bush needed to hit a home run, if not a grand slam, to help him keep his failing campaign alive. While he may have been a bit more energetic this time around, he did not win the game he needed to win. Besides his poll numbers, it is said that his campaign finances are being challenged at this time. Many are predicting that since he can’t out-perform fellow-Floridian Rubio, Bush’s candidacy may be near its end. Cruz and Paul were noticeable but really didn’t do a great deal to get a firestorm going for their lackluster campaigns. Fiorina and Carson were simply there. They did nothing of significance to boost their candidacy or ratings.
The biggest loser of the night appears to have been John Kasich. He came across as the least conservative candidate which is obviously not good for a Republican debate candidate. Also, he continually interrupted other candidates who had the floor which came across as being rude and suggested he was desperate to get attention. When he stole the floor from another candidate who was speaking, again, his opinions were not conservative. Many consider Kasich to truly have been the biggest loser of the night.