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The GOP Debate Produces Surprising Winners

Winning a primary debate is about assuring voters that they have the ability to handle the presidency, and often times lower profile candidates have the opportunity to break out. As a result, a debate's winners and losers can look a lot different from what is shown on Twitter or in the media. Following the first GOP-sanctioned debate, most agree that Jeb Bush did not particularly stand out in the crowd. He didn't make any major errors, but found it difficult to answer predictable questions such as one regarding the war in Iraq. His top three rivals, Scott Walker, Marco Rubio and John Kasich all performed well. In addition, Rubio came out pretty strong.

With Bush being less conservative than many of the other candidates, it can be difficult to picture the entire Republican party supporting Bush. Walker, in contrast, handled tough questions on abortion, relations with Arab nations and the Iran deal, with ease. Yet, he also wasn't as dynamic as would be expected for the first debate. Then, Kasich was supported by his hometown audience, and was able to advance his cause successfully. The big surprise was Donald Trump performing the weakest. He received several pointed questions without providing satisfactory answers. Furthermore, he answered to a hostile crowd.

This means he may not receive as much media coverage as he did leading up to the debates. The other candidates--Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Ben Carson, Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee — may not have done enough to get a larger share of the limelight. This could change if the media supports one of them.

Photo: Chron

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