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Takeaways from Democratic and Republican debates on the eve of the New Hampshire primary

by | Feb 8, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

GOPdebate84reThe difference in numbers was stark. The February 4th debate between pro-abortionists Hillary Clinton and Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders drew a paltry 4.49 on MSNBC. (It was the first debate after former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley withdrew.)

By contrast Saturday’s free for all between seven pro-life Republican presidential candidates in New Hampshire garnered 13.2 million viewers. This in spite of ABC News playing games about when the debate would start, painful to watch snafus introducing the candidates, and the fact that the debate went over for three hours.

The next Democratic debate will be February 13, moderated by PBS NewsHour co-anchors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff and simulcast on CNN.

For Republicans the next head-to-head is February 13 on CBS.

Back to New Hampshire, whose first-in-the-nation primary is tomorrow.

According to a new Monmouth University survey released Sunday, billionaire businessman Donald Trump is the choice of 30% of likely Republican primary.

“Four candidates trail Trump in a virtual tie for second place: Ohio Gov. John Kasich garnered 14 percent support, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio earned 13 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush also drew 13 percent, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz had 12 percent support,” CBS News reported.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie polled at 6%, former CEO Carly Fiorina at 5%, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson at 4%.

”Most candidates remained unchanged in their numbers from last month’s Monmouth survey, except for Bush, who jumped nine points since January,” CBS News added.

However everyone is offering the usual caveats–and a few more having witnessed that the predicted winner in Iowa, Donald Trump, finished in second place.

The conventional wisdom about Saturday night’s debate congealed even before the debate ended. The governors–Christie, Bush, and Kasich did well–Trump did nothing to hurt his front-runner’s status, and that early on Sen. Rubio came under withering attack from Gov. Chris Christie but finished strong.

Two thoughts on Rubio. First, he was criticized by Christie for repetition in emphasizing his argument that President Obama knows exactly what he is doing.

However Mr. Rubio did not backtrack Sunday. He reiterated that “Barack Obama is undertaking a systematic effort to change this country,” and “All this damage that he’s done to America is deliberate.”

Second, rivals have questioned Rubio’s position on abortions–no exceptions in cases of rape and incest. Mr. Rubio responded

I do support protection for the life of the mother because I’m pro-life. I just believe deeply that all human life is worthy of protection of our laws. If I’m president and there’s a bill that’s passed that saves lives but it has exceptions, I’ll sign it.

But I do believe deeply that all human life is worthy of the protection of laws. I’ve already said, for me, the issue of life is not a political issue and I want to be frank. I would rather lose an election than be wrong on the issue of life.

And he also raised the question why Democrats never get questioned on abortion in their debates:

Here’s what I find outrageous. There has been five Democratic debates. The media has not asked them a single question on abortion and on abortion, the Democrats are extremists. Why doesn’t the media ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that all abortion should be legal, even on the due date of that unborn child.

Why don’t they ask Hillary Clinton why she believes that partial- birth abortion, which is a gruesome procedure that has been outlawed in this country, she thinks that’s a fundamental right. They are the extremists [on[ the issue of abortion and I can’t wait to expose them in a general election.

As they say, the only “poll” that counts is what voters in New Hampshire say tomorrow night.

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Categories: Politics