CHICAGO – Thirteen men and one woman were on the main stage, a crowded field where each person tried to stand out and survive in the polls to make it to the next round. Was it substance or smoke and mirrors for the crowd?
The second GOP debate wrapped up Wednesday night. It was a crowded field and indeed a crowded stage. They covered experience, the Middle East and launched a few personal attacks.
This debate was less fiery than the first GOP debate; more offense this time -- not just a bunch of suits just playing defense before the crowd.
The Republicans jockeyed for position as they stood shoulder to shoulder at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, Calif., so they could be seen, heard and hopefully voted for in 2016.
As of late Ben Carson was showing 2nd in the GOP polls. He likely didn't move the needle much Wednesday -- the question is, do his supporters think he lost any ground?
The Trump factor will play out in coming days, but he appeared more controlled, less critical and more focused on political topics tonight rather than just grabbing a headline.