At the Washington Free Beacon, Matthew Continetti's take on the Fox Business debate is that the Republican primary is clearly "Donald Trump’s race to lose."
Love him or hate him - and there doesn't seem to be anyone left in-between - Trump showed "considerable political skills" in Thursday evening's debate, writes Continetti:
Provocative, gauche, funny, emphatic, and fearless, Trump doesn’t back down when the crowd boos him, he holds his own against more polished opponents, and he has identified and exploited the anger of many Republican and independent voters.
Trump has become the focal point of the campaign, forcing his competitors to react to him. Continetti notes that "he’s changed the tenor of Marco Rubio’s campaign from being sunny and future-oriented to being exasperated at the state of the country under Barack Obama." Trump has also forced Ted Cruz to go on the attack regarding the legality of Cruz’s status as a natural-born citizen. Cruz "easily bested Trump on the citizenship question," writes Continetti, but their other exchanges are more problematic to score. Cruz's comment, for example, that Trump represented “New York values” may come back to haunt him in certain states.
The upshot" says Continetti, is that "it was clear on Thursday night that the real fight is between Trump and Cruz."
Continetti concludes that this debate has settled the question of Trump's seriousness as a candidate. Now the question is, Who can stop him?