Local opinion on GOP Republican debate - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Local opinion on GOP Republican debate

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Eau Claire (WQOW) – On Thursday, News 18 spoke to two local experts regarding Wednesday night's second Republican GOP debate.

Richard Postlewaite, a Political Science Professor at UW-Stout; and Brian Westrate, the Chairman of the 3rd District Republican Party both agreed it wasn't the best night for front-runner Donald Trump.  They also said Carly Fiorina turned some heads and that Governor Scott Walker didn't stand out as much as he could have.

“Walker did just fine, he had the shortest amount of time of any of the candidates I noticed,” said Postlewaite.

Walker only spoke up during eight minutes of Wednesday night's three hour debate and his most memorable moment was probably when he challenged Donald Trump. He said the country doesn't need an apprentice in the White House because there already is one. Overall, Postlewaite believes the debate was too shallow and that no one candidate stood out.

“I think it's always hard when you have 11 people trying to answer questions in the allotted time frame of a minute. They gave them a minute, minute and a half time frame tops if they took extra,” said Postlewaite.

Eau Claire Republicans seem to be happy with the post debate momentum.

“You have 11 people on that stage last night, anyone of them any one of whom would be an incredible president,” said Westrate.

Westrate believes that while Donald Trump didn't need a full 19 minutes, his presence may be helping the Republican party in general.

“He's energizing a percentage of the populous that wouldn't otherwise be paying attention to politics at this point and they're paying attention to republican politics because the democrats, there's nothing going on their side of the isle,” said Westrate.

Westrate believes Trump didn't have enough substance in Wednesday's debate, and that it may be the start of a five-month downward trend. Both Postlewaite and Westrate said we're far from getting a clear picture of who will eventually represent the Republican party.

Nearly 23 million people tuned in for last night's GOP debate on CNN. It was the most watched program in the network's history.

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