After the 5th GOP Presidential Debate, It’s Trump’s and Cruz’s to Lose

trmp-crzLast night’s fifth Republican presidential primary debate revealed several interesting things. Donald Trump, who is still leading by a wide margin in national and New Hampshire polls, as usual performed well in the debate — as long as you ignore his overreaching statements and mistakes. Ted Cruz, who is in second place, has risen to first place in Iowa by as much as 10 points, also turned in a strong performance. Since 1976, with one lonely exception on the Democratic side involving unusual circumstances, the eventual nominees in both parties had won either Iowa or New Hampshire.

Given their strong performances, they are now unequivocally the two to beat, and the question is, when will they resume beating up on each other. It didn’t happen last night. Cruz and Trump were cordial to each other throughout the debate, backing off from some criticisms they traded last week.

Jeb Bush went on the offensive against Trump, attacking his brash style. “So Donald, you know, is great at the one-liners, but he’s a chaos candidate,” he said in the debate. “And he’d be a chaos president.” However, at three percent in the polls, it is probably too late for Bush to turn his downward spiral around. Although more money has been spent on his race than has been spent on any other GOP candidate, the Republican establishment seems to have deserted him for Marco Rubio.

Rubio and Chris Christie, who are both charismatic and well-spoken, performed well. Rubio tussled with Cruz several times over NSA spying, defense funding and immigration. Although Rubio held his own, Cruz takes positions closer to the conservative base of the party on those issues, particularly immigration.

Read the rest of the article at The Stream

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