Debate: Substantive But Boring

Analysts are complimenting the policy-related questions for the fourth Republican Presidential debate, but the result was a less exciting debate. Representatives from Fox Business Network did a better job than CNBC reporters in the last debate by focusing on real issues instead of personality.


Donald Trump played a less dominant role in this debate. Fox News reported, "As for Trump, he was very passive tonight. Statesman Trump is not as fun as reality TV Trump." CNN reported other players winning ground:

"There was no single dominant performance as in the past when candidates such as Carly Fiorina and Marco Rubio wowed audiences -- and swiftly improved their place in the polls. Several candidates, including Rubio and Ted Cruz, were strong on the debate stage on Tuesday. And Jeb Bush, who has struggled in such environments, projected greater confidence, seeming to relish a confrontation with Donald Trump on national security."

Reuters' focus was also on Jeb Bush, who said of his own performance, "I thought the debate went well, and I had a good debate because I got to talk about things with a little substance instead of the cute one-liners." Bush may have bought himself more time to gain a few percentage points in the polls; his campaign has been suffering, and his debate performances until this one certainly haven't helped.

Rubio and Cruz are emerging as the most well spoken, if not the most brilliant or substantive.

Discussion Starters:

  • How much do you think appearance and youth count in the election? How will these factors help Rubio and Cruz?
  • Who do you think won the fourth debate? How, if at all, will this debate affect your vote?