CNN Debates: who won and who lost?


David S. Holloway/CNN

Donald Trump finally took some punches, Carly Fiorina grabbed control, Jeb Bush woke up and Marco Rubio and Chris Christie elbowed their way into the fray on a crowded stage at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, September 16, 2015. Everyone else just tried to crash the party.

The Republican National Debate happened on Sept. 16, and the polls were in shortly after.

Polls from CNN show Carly Fiorina shooting up to second place at 15 percent support behind frontrunner Donald Trump at 24 percent. This is a significant increase from before the debate where Fiorina had only 3 percent support.

Trump’s support in the polls has also declined from 32 percent earlier this month. Ben Carson, the former second place holder in the polls, has seen his support drop from 19 percent to 14 percent.

The debate was watched by over 23 million people, making it the most watched program in CNN’s history.

For most of the people in the debate, it isn’t a case of who lost and more like who is lost in the shuffle. A total of 15 candidates took the stage in two rounds of the debate, and apart from a select few, I couldn’t tell you one candidate from another other than their name.

Some had plenty of time to speak while others had to seemingly fight to get their word in. To me, it seems like only three people stood out in this debate: Carly Fiorina, Donald Trump and Ben Carson.

So who won in the debates? Personally, for me, I think Carly Fiorina was the biggest winner and the polls seem to reflect that. She came in with a strategy and had confidence in what she was saying. She even fought back against some of Trump’s comments about her appearance in a classy way.

When the moderator brought up Trump’s comment about her physical appearance, Fiorina said “I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said.”  

It is very ironic that the biggest loser in the debate was the very same person calling his opponents losers. Donald Trump was hammered at this debate, giving the same typical vague statements on policies and backtracking on certain remarks made, such as those on Fiorina’s appearance.

The polls made by CNN seem to back this up, with Trump losing almost eight points in the polls after the debate was over.

As for Carson, the reason he stood out to me was his very soft-spoken attitude, which is a stark contrast to all the yelling and posturing I saw during the debate. He certainly wasn’t a winner, but he didn’t lose much either.

With the Republican debates out of the way, we now turn to the Democratic debates that will take place on Oct. 13 on CNN. Who will win and who will lose?

I predict the whole debate will come down to two people: Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.  Sanders has been on a roll since announcing his candidacy over the summer and has huge approval ratings across the nation, specifically among college students.

This support comes in tandem with a populism movement that has arisen across the country.

Clinton stands to lose basically because of the fact that no one really trusts her. The controversial email scandal has already made her look shady to the public, and this will be a huge hill to climb.

ABC News reported that many protesters have called for more Democratic debates in the wake of two separate Republican debates, while the Democrats have had exactly zero.

The Democratic National Committee chair Bessie Wasserman Schultz was recently heckled by protesters at the New Hampshire Democratic Party convention. Protesters called out “We want debates.”

Some held signs to the camera which read “More debates = more votes for democrats.”

The difference in number of Republican and Democratic debates is almost doubled. According to, there are currently six Democratic debates scheduled and 11 Republican debates scheduled, two of which already aired.

This is a valid concern among Democrats, who seem like they are being overshadowed and underexposed in favor of Republican debates with more Donald Trump.