Written by Carla Saskia Sanchez, Political Science at Florida State University (Tallahassee, Florida)
With the completion of the third Republican presidential debate, some candidates are moving up in the polls – while the others fade away. Noticeably, Florida Senator Marco Rubio stole the show on the debate floor. Calm and collected, he mentions frequently his struggles of growing up as the son of humble immigrants. Although he had been pressed with questions about his “vacation days” at the Senate, Rubio was quick to blame liberal media bias. When asked about his personal finance troubles, not only did he first identify with the financial struggles of Americans, but he also shifted to the most important topic at hand – recognizing and easing the economic strife that citizens go through on a daily basis. Of course, this shot him up directly in post-debate polls.
Texan Ted Cruz did not stay too far behind. He emphasized on economic policies and performing some basic changes, such as abolishing the International Revenue Service. Cruz also advocates for the privatization of Social Security – this is clearly open to refutation, as this would greatly affect the lives of many Americans who depend on it.
Dr. Ben Carson, well-received as usual, was a bit of a dim star on Wednesday night. Although he shied away from politics questions, and refused to attack fellow Republicans, he was able to gain major ground among supporters.
Ex-governor of Florida Jeb Bush faced some heat from Rubio after the latter confronted him about his attacks on Rubio’s campaign and political record. Rubio, however, boldly responded: “someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.” The rest of the night, Bush stayed off the grid and gave weak answers. He even seemed to like the fact that moderators were avoiding him.
As for magnate Donald Trump, who does not like being avoided at all, he mysteriously remained silent at times. Cracking corny jokes as usual, he talked about some of his main issues, such as securing the border and his gun records. “I think gun-free zones are a catastrophe,” he said. If there is anything that could make Trump seem less money-hungry – it was his rant about “disastrous and dishonest” super PACs.
Unfortunately for the Republican leading lady, this was not Carly Fiorina’s night. She avoided getting into details and had little to say, much like Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, John Kasich, and Rand Paul. Some even complained about the moderators not asking them enough questions or giving them enough time to talk. They’re losing ground fast, and others are dominating.
Certainly the most ambitious candidates are in it to win it. Are Republicans dividing themselves? Let us know!