Who Won the Debate?

Allen Tharp fm media

By Allen Tharp

So who actually won the Republican debates last Thursday evening?  There seems to be universal acclaim that Carly Fiorina won the first debate handily.  She was sharp and poised and stood head and shoulders above the other six candidates in the first debate. She will move into the top ten,  and it will be interesting to see who she replaces.  While Carly presents herself well, some of the positions that she has previously taken may wind up hurting her with conservatives in the future, when they become more widely known.

But what about the second prime time debate?  According to various polls, Trump and Cruz were the top two, and Bush and Christi were the bottom two.  It is notable that Ted Cruz’s poll rating increased the most with a 7-point gain to 13%.  Carly Fiorina showed the second biggest gains with a 6% increase in poll ratings.

NBC POLL: Last week, Now, Change

  • Ted Cruz 6%, 13%, +7
  • Carly Fiorina 2, 8, +6
  • Ben Carson 8, 11, +3
  • Donald Trump 22, 23, +1
  • Mike Huckabee 4, 5, +1
  • Lindsey Graham 1, 1, 0
  • Marco Rubio 8, 8, 0
  • Bobby Jindal 1, 1, 0
  • George Pataki 0, 0, 0
  • Rick Perry 2, 2, 0
  • John Kasich 3, 2, -1
  • Rand Paul 6, 5, -1
  • Rick Santorum 1, 0, -1
  • Chris Christie 3, 1, -2
  • Jeb Bush 10, 7, -3
  • Scott Walker 10, 7, -3


  • Trump: 44.67 percent (258,414 votes)
  • Cruz: 14.37 percent (83,159 votes)
  • Rubio: 10.46 percent (60,497 votes)
  • Carson: 8.92 percent (51,617 votes)
  • Paul: 6.09 percent (35,213 votes)
  • Kasich: 5.25 percent (30,396 votes)
  • Walker: 3.51 percent (20,318 votes)
  • Huckabee: 3.37 percent (19,512 votes)
  • Bush: 2.07 percent (11,987 votes)
  • Christie: 1.28 percent (7,401 votes)

According to our SATP poll, Cruz was the clear and undisputed winner.

  • Ted Cruz 73.3%
  • Donald Trump 14.6%
  • Ben Carson 5.3%
  • Scott Walker 4.0%
  • Mike Huckabee 2.6%
  • Jeb Bush 1.3%
  • John Kasich 1.3%
  • Marco Rubio 1.3%
  • Rand Paul 0.0%
  • Chris Christie 0.0%

But watching Fox News, you would hardly even know that Senator Ted Cruz is in the top ten.  They continue to ignore his appeal to conservatives.

  • Frank Luntz, “The debate was great news for Ted Cruz.”
  • Charles Krauthammer, “Ted Cruz was a winner of the night.”
  • Conservative Review said, “One man always stands out as having the full passion, depth of knowledge, resoluteness, fighting spirit, and inviolable record on almost every issue of our time.” “That man is Senator Ted Cruz.”

According to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and most of the media, Fox was the winner of the debate.  Fox’s moderators dominated the on-air time, speaking for 31.7 percent of the two-hour event.

While there were some good questions, I was disappointed that not nearly enough attention was paid to the real issues like:

  • Specifically what would each candidate do to address the national debt and deficits?
  • What would they do to limit the size and scope of the Federal Government?
  • Explaining their tax plan?
  • What action would they take to restore our Constitutional Republic?

The “gotcha” questions though were just a waste of time and designed to put the spotlight on the moderator, rather than illuminate the plans of the candidates.  Contrary to the biased media take, Fox News was diminished and cheapened by the MSNBC style attack on Trump, with questions on what Trump had said about women and how he would address the “war on women.”  This is a war that only exists in the minds of liberals and had no place in the Fox candidate debate.

The same goes for the absurd question posed about whether God spoke to the candidates.  It was silly and only designed to make certain candidates look ridiculous.  Luckily no one took the bait.

The next Presidential candidate’s forum will be in California at the Reagan Library on September 16.

Then the forum I am looking forward to is the two-day event that will take place on September 18th and 19th in Greenville, SC.  This event is part of the Heritage Sentinel Summit and is already at twice the RSVPs than the 4500 people who attended the FOX News Presidential Debate.  The event in SC will be moderated by Jim DeMint, Nikki Haley, and Mike Needham where they will ask pointed and serious policy questions.

Hotel rooms are cheap.  Register now before they get to capacity!

To register and find out more about airfare and lodging, visit the registration page.

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3 Responses to "Who Won the Debate?"

  1. Julian Jerko  September 3, 2015 at 1:56 am

    That man was Patrick, who said in a statement afterward, This wasn t about winning or losing, but I do feel that I won in San Antonio tonight because I got to discuss one of the most pressing public policy issues in our state. Other observers weren’t so sure about whether there were any obvious winners.

  2. Dave R  August 17, 2015 at 9:05 am

    Al Smith,
    I agree with you — this wasn’t a serious debate. We have 90million people out of work, record # of folks on welfare, increasing foreign policy problems and they are asking about “war on women”? If I were the candidates, I would embarrass the moderators and ask them why they can’t ask policy questions which can give the public more information about where the candidates stand on these issues !

  3. Al Smith  August 12, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    How can these media events be called debates when the superstars are the network cuties and they spend their time destroying candidates and asking Gotcha questions? How does an average citizen make an informed decision when the media hitmen make themselves the event? One article I read after the event was the media hitmen held the mike 31% and then Trump had 26% so the remaining time was divided amongst the remaining 9 candidates. Fox didn’t distinguish itself any over what the other networks have done in the past. Only difference being Megan Kelly is better eye candy than anyone CNN or any of the other alphabet networks could put on stage.

    I would like to see these network “debates” thrown in the trashcan and local stations host town hall type meet the candidates. The candidates would be answering questions from ordinary citizens onsite or via telephone call ins. If they are smart they would get an idea as to what the people are thinking. Something totally lost on the Washington DC establishment elites.

    I met Ted Cruz at one of these meet and greet events and got to ask him direct questions as well as visit with him afterwards. This was when Ted was making his run for the Senate. His competition didn’t give the event organizers the courtesy of saying no he wouldn’t be there. I think that cost him the election.

    I’m sure the GOP big whigs would be against such an arrangement since change is not something they are interested in; especially if it would cost the party money. However, it is time the people made their voices heard and start taking control of our government again.

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