Donald Trump Dominates Rowdy Cleveland Debate

Donald Trump dominated the first Republican primary debate Thursday with a performance that was pugnacious, volatile and, as ever, controversial. 

Trump showed that he could take a punch, facing a number of tough questions from Fox News moderators that cited his business history, penchant for outlandish comments and erstwhile support for liberal positions. 

The businessman suffered just a few truly uncomfortable moments and avoided the kind of catastrophe some of his detractors had predicted.

As the crowd began to leave the arena, it was clear that one word would be as central to the post-debate analysis as it was to the pre-game: Trump.

“Trump was bombastic and entertaining right from the start, said GOP strategist Ford O’Connell. “His biggest error was not accepting the pledge to not run as a third-party candidate. This will haunt Trump, especially if he doesn't rebound strongly in the next debate with more substance.”

Read more from Niall Stanage at The Hill

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Analysis & Political Strategy