Has Donald Trump finally blown it with Republicans? That was the question after what the Wall Street Journal called a “raucous brawl” of a presidential debate in Cleveland last night.
Tycoon Trump began by putting his hand up to say he wouldn’t support the eventual nominee if he doesn’t win, bringing boos from the audience.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul also had several tense exchanges, including one over government surveillance programs. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio and Govs. Scott Walker of Wisconsin and John Kasich of Ohio— seemed more intent on sounding presidential said the WSJ.
The Journal said Trump’s performance Thursday might spark unease among the Republican establishment about his candidacy to outright opposition.
Trump acknowledged that a third-party run - which he is thought to have been contemplating - could result in Democrat Hillary Clinton winning the White House. But he said, “I want to win as the Republican.”
Of the seven candidates who took part in an earlier debate for those who didn’t make it into the Top Ten, Carly Fiorina drew the most plaudits, but the night revolved around Trump, who has led every national poll of the Republican field since mid-July, said the WSJ..
Despite the doubts Phil Musser, a veteran of past presidential campaigns and now chairman of digital media firm IMGE said, “If Trump can successfully consolidate and hang onto that coalition, he’ll be much more than a summer candidate.”
However, groups of viewers who had favoured Trump before the debate told Fox that their support for him had sharply dropped.