Post-Debate Power Rankings — Who Won? Who Lost?

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Well, another GOP debate is in the books, and Fox Business finally delivered what may have been the most policy-focused debate we’ve seen yet this election cycle.

Here’s how the candidates’ performances ranked:

1.) Carly Fiorina

Fiorina may be the most polished debater in the field.  She nailed her answer on Obamacare and managed to steal the spotlight from Bush in taking on Trump over his Russia and Middle East foreign policy. Her closing statement on defeating Hillary Clinton drew a solid applause.  Although she will be unable to win the nomination based on debate performances alone, this will certainly keep her in the running.

2.) Rand Paul

Paul needed a good performance here to keep his campaign afloat, and he delivered.  After losing an early scuffle with Rubio over tax policy, he had one of the most memorable moments of the night in calling out Trump and moderators over the fact that China is not a part of the TPP.  He then went on to give solid answers on the need for caution in America’s Middle East foreign policy and the importance of an “all of the above” energy policy.  After this debate, Paul lives to fight another day.

3.) Marco Rubio

He didn’t perform quite as well as in the last debate, but Rubio still found his moments.  He had a great early line about the need for better vocational training which drew a large applause from the crowd.  He also capably defended his pro-family tax plan and increase in national defense spending from a tough challenge from Rand Paul. Continue Reading

Hey Fox Business, Ask This One Question At Tomorrow Night’s Debate

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Fox Business is hosting a Republican debate tomorrow night. It will feature eight candidates: Donald Trump, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, and Rand Paul.

The rest of the candidates will take part in the undercard debate prior to the main event.

These are supposed to be debates on economics, so I’m hoping to hear the candidates asked one question:

“What will you do to address the failures of the Federal Reserve’s zero interest rate policy?”

Ted Cruz gave a great response to this question at the CNBC debate, arguing for sound money “ideally tied to gold.” Now every candidate needs to respond to this issue and explain their position on monetary policy thoroughly.

Our hope is that Fox Business will pass on the political theater and instead enable a substantive discussion on this critical topic.

Jon Schweppe is Deputy Director of Communications for the American Principles Project. Continue Reading

Two Major GOP Candidates to Miss the Next Debate

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Fox Business just announced that only eight candidates will make it onto the main stage for Tuesday’s debate. The main stage will feature: Trump, Carson, Rubio, Cruz, Bush, Fiorina, Paul, and Kasich. Two notable exceptions from the main stage are New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. Huckabee and Christie will be relegated to the early undercard debate where they will join Jindal and Santorum. Senator Graham and Former Governor Pataki both fell short of the necessary 1 percent to make the undercard debate and will be excluded altogether.

The exclusion of Sen. Graham and Gov. Pataki caused some controversy. Jim Geraghty, at the National Review, pointed out a serious flaw with Fox Business’ criteria: many of the latest polls that Fox Business used in their calculation have excluded candidates, including Graham and Pataki, from their survey options. As Geraghty writes:

You’re asking, “wait, a major pollster just stopped asking about Bobby Jindal, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki and Jim Gilmore?” Yup.

It’s just about impossible for any of those five guys to rise if they’re not listed as an option, and their supporters have to volunteer their name.

Fox’s use of these polls begs the question: How can any candidate expect to meet polling criteria, if their name isn’t being polled?

While many have focused on the Christie and Huckabee having been relegated to the undercard debate, the circumstances behind the outright exclusion of Pataki and Graham have been largely overlooked. Continue Reading