5ive hours of debate

1442459484931I got a full night’s sleep last night, yet I’m STILL exhausted from the 3 hour CNN GOP Varsity Debate last night. (At hour 2.5, my son asked when it would end. I said, “Oh, it goes all night.” He responded, “Seriously?“)

There is an online poll on Drudge that asks who won. As of Thursday morning, 55% said Trump.

Which just goes to show the worthlessness of online polls.

The person everyone is talking about this morning, and the clear winner of the debate, was Carly Fiorina. Marco Rubio was a pretty clear second, though some could differ on that.

Chris Christie probably came in a farther third after Fiorina and Rubio. From there it’s a crap shoot.

Huckabee, Cruz and Walker didn’t do a bad job. But they didn’t shine, and at times became invisible, kinda like Hugh Hewitt.

Like Trump fans, you will never convince Rand Paul supporters that he had a bad night, but his answers likely nailed his coffin shut for the season. (And cue the Paulistas to jump to the comments!)

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It can easily be argued that Trump’s appearance was semi-disastrous, though his supporters really don’t care. His body-language was awful, his responses were rambling and he got pwned (as the kids say) by Fiorina, and arguably a few times by Bush and Carson. His initial attack on Rand Paul was sort of out-there, though I suspect it was strategic at some level.

But again, his performance will not matter to his hard-core fans. But it likely reinforces the cap that his overall support will have (though that depends on him needing over x% in the primary).

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People like Ben Carson’s soft-spokeness and calm, but his responses got long and rambling, and on a number of points seemed to go no where.

He has been climbing in the polls significantly lately, but it shouldn’t be surprising to see some of his support shift.

Oh, and if the election were held today, John Kasich would be done.

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The JV debate seemed to be just that. Lindsey Graham was enjoyable, but probably too far-out militaristic for anyone’s taste right now.

Jindal should cool his jets just a tad and wait for next time. Because while it won’t happen now, he could have some staying power.

Not real clear why Pataki and Santorum are still in the race.

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But while some candidates seem to be finished, others ebbing and flowing, the fact of the matter is it is still only September. Lots more can happen, news of the day can take over and voters can and will easily flip.

Trump, Fiorina, Bush and Rubio seem to be in for the long haul.

Trump won’t be leaving anytime soon, Bush has too much cash and Fiorina and Rubio keep over-achieving — at least on TV, if not eventually in the polls.

Walker was on the rise, but his message just seems to continue to be a little…dull. Not in the “boring” sense, but as in “non-shiny”. He is the opposite of Trump’s mylar streamers that gardeners use to keep the crows away. Walker still has a good message, but he seems to get less interesting.

[On a side note, I have been asking pols who THEY would like to see on a new $20 or $10 — and CNN’s Jake Tapper stole my questions. Interestingly, Scott Walker answered me by saying, “I’m more interested in keeping twenty-dollar bills in people’s’ pockets, than worrying about who is on the front of them.” But last night, he changed his answer to “Harriet Tubman“. Ah well.]

This was Christie’s best performance yet, but I’m still not convinced he is getting traction. Same for Cruz and Huckabee.

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The biggest loser of the night was undoubtably CNN. What a mess.

Three hours? And that was just the late show. The whole schmear went from 5pm-10pm. It was like binge-watching the campaign on Netflix.

Way too many of, “Donald Trump said this. What do YOU think?” questions.

The timing never seemed to work, with Tapper and the “Thank you Governor. Thank you. Thank you,” as they just kept talking.

No idea what Hugh Hewitt was doing there.

A number of goof-ball questions, “A lot of social media questions about Climate Change!” Right. From all of CNN’s GOP viewers…

And it is unclear why the Republican Party handed over the debate process to CNN in the first place. Maybe that’s easier to say, after the Trump ratings bonanza. But they would be much better off-putting it together themselves, then offering the TV stations to bid on it. It won’t be surprising to see this be the case in the future.

And as I noted on the Twitter, the debate with a deflated Trump was much like a golf tournament back in the day, where Tiger Woods was no longer in the final group. It just became less “Must See”.

But the Live Tweeting of the debate is still the best way to go…

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