POLL: Who Won the GOP Debate?

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The GOP debate stage before the Miami debate began. (Getty)

With Ted Cruz taking back some of the Donald Trump momentum with a few big wins, the debate came to the hometown, and law school alma mater of Marco Rubio, who desperately needed to impress his neighbors to stay alive in the GOP race. Bucking the trend, the debate tone steered away from personal attacks, allowing the candidates time for impassioned policy proposals.

Read our recap below, then vote in our poll for your favorite.


Cruz made time in his opening statement to mention Florida’s “welcoming” his father from Cuba.

As part of an answer to an economic policy question, Trump touted his immigration bona fides:

Cruz advocated “redefining” our immigration system, favoring skilled workers:

Economic Policy

Kasich defended his support for international trade deals like NAFTA and TPP:

In contrast, Cruz reiterated his opposition:

Rubio talked up America’s competitiveness on trade:


Trump promised to involve Ben Carson in education and to open up school choice:

Kasich defended Common Core, but advocated scaling back federal involvement in education.

Social Security

Cruz advocated raising the retirement age for younger workers:

Rubio said the same, and clashed with Trump on the issue:

National Security/Foreign Policy

Donald Trump was asked if he’d walk back his anti-Muslim comments; he shifted, but only slightly:

The other candidates sharply disagreed with his rhetoric:

They also, however, took issue with his neutrality in the Israeli/Palestinian conflict:

John Kasich laid out a plan for elsewhere in the Middle East:

The Race

Trump addressed disturbing reports from his rallies, as did Cruz:

All four candidates spoke about the delegate math and the possibility of a brokered convention:

Closing Statements

Kasich advocated “raising the bar” in presidential politics:

Rubio framed the moment as a turning point for this generation:

Cruz reiterated his support for the nation:

Who Won the Debate?