Now that the excitement of the first debate is over, the buzz is shifting to Iowa. The presidential candidates are making their quadrennial pilgrimage to the Iowa State Fair, where they will speechify amid the butter-sculpting and grocery-bagging contests over the course of the next week.
Tales from the Trail
How much did the grandstanding at last week’s Republican debate sway voters? That depends. The latest Reuters/Ipsos poll found Donald Trump still holding onto a wide lead among the party despite an acerbic debate and a feud with Fox television anchor Megyn Kelly that have bolstered charges of sexism. Trump led the party’s 17-strong 2016 presidential field with the backing of 24 percent of Republican voters, unchanged from before Thursday’s televised debate.
After the prep and the polling, it all came down to a few hours behind podiums in Cleveland. First, the “kids’ table” of seven lower-polling Republican candidates, then the top 10 seeking their party’s endorsement for Campaign 2016.
By Lena Masri and Emily Stephenson
Inevitably, it’s less the scripted zingers than the off-the-cuff debate lines that set social media on fire. Of the 10 Republican candidates who participated in Thursday night’s debate, Donald Trump was the most mentioned on Twitter, according to Twitter’s data. One of the top five moments on Twitter was when Trump said that Hillary Clinton had to come to his wedding because he gave her money. “I said be at my wedding and she came to my wedding,” Trump said. (Trump didn’t specify which of his three wedding the former secretary of state had attended, but the Clintons did attend his 2005 nuptials to former model Melania Knauss.)
By Idrees Ali
When asked during the Republican presidential debate on Thursday what it would take to destroy the militant Islamic State, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz called for the same courage showed by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.