Rand Paul came out swinging, particularly on the issue of the Fourth Amendment. If anything, the Kentucky Senator proved he’s still in this race to win.
Chris Christie impressed with his detailed call for entitlement reform.
Ted Cruz did reasonably well, but being over-articulate may prevent him from connecting with voters.
Donald Trump essentially admitted to buying and selling politicians, which proves where his true motivations lie. Nevertheless, Trump’s political donations have been public knowledge for a long time, so I doubt that last night will have a lasting negative effect on his fan base.
Scott Walker needs to dial up the enthusiasm, as he came off as rather unexciting.
Marco Rubio showed sharp policy prowess and delivered solid answers.
Ben Carson did very well, but unfortunately did not get as much speaking time as I would have liked. That being said, Carson’s closing statement was arguably the best.
John Kasich did a respectable job, especially in framing himself as a “compassionate conservative” in the style of George W. Bush. Whether or not that will translate to electoral success remains to be seen.
Jeb Bush and Mike Huckabee’s showings weren’t exactly notable, but they didn’t make any glaring mistakes either.
With the first debate of the 2016 presidential election in the books, there were no clear winners or losers. However, those who watched closely got a decent indication of what to expect from the Republican field going forward.