Moderated by CNN’s Jake Tapper, conservative radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, and CNN Leftist Dana Bash, the second Republican primary debate is on tonight. This post will look at the media’s coverage of the debate.
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11:41 – Drudge Poll Gives Trump the Win By a Wide Mile
As of now, an online Drudge poll of almost 250,000 votes shows that Trump won tonight’s debate with 58% of the vote.
Second pace is Carly Fiorina at 16%. Everyone else is at 6% or below.
11:21 – Wrap Up: How Did CNN Do? Who Won? Who Lost?
Overall, the questions were good, even if the presentation of those questions got tiring. Almost every (if not every) question was framed to start a spat between two candidates. This was fine at first but after an hour and then two hours and then three hours, the conceit felt forced and the bickering was not as illuminating as CNN might have hoped. There are some good questions to frame that way but not all. It’s as though CNN was more interested in YouTube moments than genuine insight.
The questions, however, were mostly good: solid foreign and domestic policy questions. Hugh Hewitt got nowhere near enough time to ask questions. Tapper is great. Nothing against him. But why not use Hewitt more? It was absurd how under-used he was.
Dana Bash was just awful. Total amateur.
The Fox News debate was much better produced and had more energy. CNN’s questions were better.
Trump, in my opinion, was a little exposed. I think he needs to show incremental improvement on policy issues in order to hold on to his lead. He didn’t do that. Voters don’t expect outsiders to know everything but they do expect improvement. We’ll see what the polls show.
Fiorina won the debate. This was a real breakout performance for her, especially in the first hour. She’s sharp, understands policy, a great communicator, and even able to inspire — as she showed in her closing statement. I’m expecting a boomlet, possibly at the expense of Ben Carson, who wasted his opportunity ion the spotlight.
John Kasich was a zero. Rand Paul was less churlish but didn’t register much. Jeb stayed alive but just barely. Walker improved, though probably not as much as he needed to.
Chris Christie, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz all had good nights.
A Drudge poll says Trump won by a mile.
Trump’s demeanor tonight was improved. He was calmer, less combative. After the debate he was interviewed by CNN and complimented both CNN and all of his opponents.
His improved demeanor might help him with the post-debate debate, which is all that matters.
10:27 – Big Loser Tonight: CNN’s Dana Bash
CNN’s Dana Bash proved herself way in over her left-wing head on the Big Stage tonight. Bad questions. Shrill attempts to get the candidates to answer the question the way that she wanted it answered.
She didn’t get much time but time and again she exposed herself as a partisan hack and a not very bright one.
7:58 – Twitter Consensus Among Conservatives: CNN’s Doing Better Job Than Fox News!
A quick glance at Twitter show indicates that Republican voters are happier with the CNN debate questions than they are with Fox News.
Who would have expected that two months ago?
GOP Chair Reince Priebus deserves tremendous credit for getting a handle on this process and demanding better, more fair moderators.
CNN’s Jake Tapper deserves just as much credit for being a professional.
Not to put too fine a point on how big of a deal this is but conservatives hate CNN.
7:53 – Jindal Wins the Kiddie Table Debate — Looks Like Outsider While Blasting Trump.
The media seem to believe Lindsey Graham and George Pataki won the debate. But that’s what happens when you live in a bubble. The Republican Base hates the Republican Party and it was Bobby Jindal who hit that sweet spot again and again. The best line of the night came from him, “I’m angrier at the Republican party than I am at Obama.” He argued forcefully that Democrats fight while we lay down.
That’s true and because that’s true that is what the base wants to hear.
I don;t know if Jindal can break out but he has managed to look like an outsider while at the same time blasting Donald Trump.
That might just be the secret sauce.
7:24 – Great Debate Questions So Far. Great Job From Moderators
Hard to fault anything so far in the 4 person pre-game debate. Good questions. Policy questions. Those of you who remember 2012 also remember that by now we wee already on our 45th same sex marriage, abortion, birth control question.
Tapper and Hewitt are talking about fiscal and foreign policy. They are also have the candidates debating one another without baiting them.
Very professional job.
6:40 -Jake Tapper Frames Question In Way Rest of MSM Never Will
Jake Tapper says to Lindsey Graham, “Most countries do not have birthright citizenship.” How many media types would approach the question in that direction?
6:45 – WaPo Swoons Over Lindsey Graham’s Racial Demagoguery
Because Lindsey Graham is in full-demagogue mode over immigration, The Washington Post’s Philip Rucker is calling him the winner. This tells you how out of touch the elite media is. Calling for amnesty is the opposite of being an all-star, unless you live in the Emerald City of DC.
So far at least, Graham is the Carly: happy hour all star.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) September 16, 2015
6:50 – Chuck Todd Accuses Lindsey Graham of Hijacking Debate
— Chuck Todd (@chucktodd) September 16, 2015