Not everyone shined and not everyone failed. Here’s an in-depth recap of the debates and my predictions for each person’s election futures.
Four candidates appeared in the earlier debate–three who upped their game and one who lost his debating advantage.
Lindsey Graham: I had very very very low expectations for Graham because in the last debate he was terribly sad. However, for this debate he stepped up his game 4,000%. He was well spoken, stood his ground, showed strength on foreign policy, and was hilarious. He will move up in the next polls – not by too much because not many watch the first debate. However, if he keeps this up, he could gradually make his way from polling at less than one percent to polling in the top 10.
Bobby Jindal came in the first debate with debating skills. However, he didn’t improve them for the second round. Because he didn’t step up his game while the other candidates did, he ended up taking second place in my book. If he is still in the race next debate, he is going to need to sharpen the tools in his debating toolbox.
Rick Santorum continued to be the evangelical that evangelicals love. He was himself, and was pretty strong at chiming in when he heard something he didn’t agree with. He tied with Jindal at second place.
George Pataki: Poor, poor Pataki. He stepped up his game, but it still wasn’t enough to get first or second place. I’m placing Pataki in third because he did not stand out once. Unless Scott Walker runs out of money in the next few weeks, Pataki will be the next to drop out.
The Main Stage
The debate where Carly Fiorina won and Mrs. Bush found out Jeb smoked pot.
Carly Fiorina won. Three times. She won the mini debate last time, she won the big debate last time, and she won the mainstage debate this time. She is an epic force of nature to be reckoned with. She can cause the resurgence of this nation. Her powerful personality, rhetoric, and record of leadership is something that will continue to help her rise until the end. In 2016, she will either be the president, or a killer VP. If not 2016, she will win the presidency in 2024.
Marco Rubio proved that he is presidential and a genius. His composure, competence, wisdom, knowledge, and of course, charisma, continues to reveal that he too is a force to be reckoned with. He might not go up in the polls from this debate alone, but he will make his way to the top. I believe that the final winner of the GOP race could very well be Marco Rubio.
Chris Christie never fails to remind me that he is a strong debater and speaker. Going into the first debate, I knew little about Christie and I really didn’t intend to learn more. However, each time he comes to the stage, he portrays competence, faith, and emotion. He is a real contender in this thing. Also, his opening line where he asked the cameramen to show the people and not himself was beautiful. Simply beautiful.
Jeb Bush stepped up his game. He brought energy and sass and was even relatable. He is a top-tier candidate. He defended his brother and his wife, and it was beautiful. However, most people will only take away the new found factoid that Jeb smoked pot in high school. Additionally, his last name holds a lot of weight, both positive and negative. He will probably hold steady in his place in the polls, and despite his last name, could come back as a big contender. He’s not going anywhere.
Mike Huckabee is a strong evangelical candidate. He adds comedy to a message of unity and is strong with policy. While it seemed like he got only a few questions, he proved that it is not about how much you speak, but it’s about what you say. He stood out as a strong candidate in the debates. I don’t know how far he will go, but I don’t think he is leaving any time soon.
Ted Cruz is a lovely, strong, and passionate candidate. He is very well-spoken and shows his strength and knowledge. He is one of the strongest of the evangelical candidates and has the anti-establishment vibe that people are looking for. However, his divisive rhetoric still seems to be his weakness. He will take parts of Trump’s votes when Trump fades and will probably make it to at least the top six.
Ben Carson is a like a sweet, incredibly genius puppy dog. He should definitely help with healthcare reform. He accidently got himself into the race and he has a bunch of money from everyday people backing him. He will stay in for while, probably making it to the primaries, but will drop out sometime in late February or March.
Donald Trump was present when he could be speak about himself or mock someone else. But when the policy debates came up, he faded to the background. Maybe sometime soon, people will realize that Trump is an egotistical maniac who believes in himself, despite not having any real plans of his own to believe in. Trump will dwindle. It will take people like Carly to make him go down, but he will. It’s just a matter of whether he’d rather back out of a race and make up an excuse, or outright lose in front of all of America.
Rand Paul: Oh, Paul. He tried so hard. He just peaked too early. He won the last three CPAC polls. But, unless fading into the background is part of his game plan, he’s not going to go very far. He seems like a lovely guy and a determined fighter. He probably won’t drop out until at least three more drop out, just because he does seem extremely determined. Unless he gets more coverage than Carly and Trump, he’ll only make it to February or March – and that’s with a lot of optimism.
John Kasich did okay at the debates. To be honest, he just really really annoys me. The only way he could get up is to really really stand out, which he didn’t. He has a good ground game in the lead states. He’s one to look out for, but he won’t be a winner. He’ll be a surprise rising candidate, and then will drop in the polls when it comes down to the end.
Scott Walker‘s resume is my favorite. He should be a stellar candidate. But unfortunately, debates appear to be his weakness. I love Walker, but he did not stand out. He is going to continue to drop in the polls unless he does something extreme to get him news coverage. If he doesn’t up his game, he will be out of the race as soon as he is out of money.
The Lone Candidate
Jim Gilmore: When he couldn’t participate because he didn’t meet the poll requirements, Gilmore attempted to live-tweet the debates. It was a move that could have brought him news coverage, but it failed to make headlines. Gilmore will probably drop out sometime in October or November but might make it to the top ten if enough people drop out before he does.
Next Debate Top 10 Prediction:
- Carly Fiorina
- Ben Carson
- Donald Trump
- Jeb Bush
- Marco Rubio
- Chris Christie
- Ted Cruz
- Scott Walker
- Lindsey Graham
- John Kasich