If anyone thought the first republican debate contained infighting, the second debate was a full out war. The moderators often struggled to control the floor, as candidates were constantly flinging insults at one another. Here’s a quick summary of every candidate’s performance.
Donald Trump: Despite not being at the debate, Trump is still the definite frontrunner for the GOP, and the other candidates have a long road ahead of them if they want to take the coveted GOP nomination.
Mike Pence:Pence had a strong performance, but ducked some of the more contreversal questions regarding healthcare and abortion. Pence also joined in the metaphorical dog pile on Ramaswamy, attempting to prevent a repeat of the previous debate. Public opinion about Pence remains mixed, as Trump continues to condemn Pence.
Ron DeSantis: DeSantis, once again, had disappointing results during this debate. Despite being known as a forerunner before the first debate, DeSantis keeps sliding down a slippery slope, and keeps failing at the debate, largely by just not talking, whether it be responses to challenges by other candidates, or just talking in general.
Nikki Haley: Haley was targeted by Tim Scott, and they went toe to toe for a good part of the rally, even debating about the curtains Haley once bought during her tenure as the ambassador. However, Haley heroically defended herself, and remained strong, proving herself as a worthy competitor against the other candidates.
Tim Scott: Scott spent a majority of the debate targeting the other candidates, whether it be Nikki Haley, Joe Biden, or Vivek Ramaswaney. Scott went after them for their previous government position, in the case of Haley and Biden, or being a young upstart, in the case of Ramaswaney. However, in a surprisingly progressive move, when asked about connecting with Latino voters, Scott reminded the audience about how he had the first female Latina chief of Staff, and he believed in leading by example to achieve change.
Chris Christie: Christie did not do very much to improve his position, mainly just going after Trump for not attending the debate. He went in as an underdog, and he left as an “under-er dog”
Vivek Ramaswaney: Ramaswaney got attacked by pretty much every other candidate, and stood his own pretty well. His strategy of talking fast and loud worked really well, and made him stand out from the crowd, despite frequently getting bogged down by the other candidates.
Doug Burgum: Burgum barely talked, and when he did, he went after Biden for “interfering with a free market” after Biden joined the auto workers strike. Burgum stands little to no chance of winning the nomination, and his performance at the debate demonstrates that.
The second GOP debate was definitely different from the first debate, but no candidates at the debate presented a solid argument to challenge Trump for that coveted nomination. Hopefully the candidate will start to gain ground, but until then, the GOP nomination seems to have one name on it.