Two polls and a few pundits weighed in on the latest GOP debate and the verdict among viewers is that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump won, Republican Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas and Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio impressed while Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida had a lousy night.
However, the biggest loser may have been the Republican party itself.
On March 3, the four remaining Republican presidential candidates gathered in Michigan for the Fox News-hosted debate. Business mogul Trump, Sen. Cruz, Sen. Rubio and Gov. John Kasich duked it out in what has been graded an ugly night for politics.
In an online poll that asked readers which candidate won the debate, as of Mar. 4 afternoon, Trump led the survey with 50 percent of respondents voting him the winner. The poll was conducted by The Blaze.
Cruz was in second with 36 percent, Kasich in third with 9 percent. Finally, there's “Little Marco” Rubio behind the back with only 5 percent of respondents answering that he was the victor.
NJ.com also hosted an online poll, which placed Trump firmly as the victor with 64 percent.
Kasich fared better among these respondents, coming in second with 18.49 percent. Cruz placed third with 8.26 percent while Rubio was again in last place with 6.2 percent.
Only three percent of respondent answered, “I don’t know.”
While the internet weighed in on who won the Fox News debate, The New York Times collected the observations and opinions of several prominent political analysts.
“Cruz, Kasich and Rubio all playing one game: issues, ideology and résumé,” wrote Princeton University politics professor Omar Wasow. “Trump playing game of top dog. Only one matters in this G.O.P. primary.”
Several conservative analysts voiced a nervousness about Trump’s positions and temperament.
“Debate ratings — Cruz: diligent,” began Republican strategist Rick Wilson. “Kasich: shticky. Rubio: brutal vs. Trump. Trump: obviously, dangerously psychotic.”
Naval War College professor Tom Nichols was deeply concerned by Trump’s insistence that U.S. soldiers would follow his orders even if they were war crimes.
“The most important thing that happened tonight is Trump vowing to provoke the most serious civil-military crisis in U.S. history since 1860,” Nichols wrote.
Some analysts were stunned by the sophomoric tone of the evening, finding the candidates to be tacky and childish.
“Tonight I heard a few firsts in a U.S. presidential debate: penis size, yoga, a candidate insulted as ‘little," Kyung Lah, CNN naitonal correspondent wrote.
Jamie Johnson, an ex-aide of former Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry, offered a grave assessment of the debate, saying his "party is committing suicide on national television.”