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So The Donald seems to be surging in post debate polls but is he really? I mean the polls are by and large national surveys that are not specific to Republican primary voters. So how much stock should we place in those numbers? The clear answer is, I have no idea and honestly neither does anyone else no matter what they try to tell you in the most eloquent of explanations.

Donald Trump has hit a nerve of nationalism that hasn’t been felt around here in quite some time. His populist message pits America as the underdog and just about anyone who questions him as a villain. Trump usually uses much more colorful language in his disparaging remarks but that certainly doesn’t mean he is wrong. In fact his observations about the chaos at the Mexican border seems to be rather accurate overall. His choice of words may have offended some people but honestly maybe it’s time for some folks to be offended.

I wonder however how long this fascination will last with The Donald. I mean there is plenty of dirt to pile on him over a lifetime in the pubic eye- and many, many comments, retorts, articles and books to choose from when looking for ammunition.

So if not Trump then who is it going to be for the GOP? I don’t think Jeb stands a chance honestly. I am astounded that he continues to garner so much support in polling numbers from around the country. I am yet to meet someone, frankly anyone who is enthusiastically supporting Bush for President.

Ted Cruz is seeing a nice post debate bump but I honestly think his take no prisoners and his personal scorched earth approach is likely not going to get the job done. I find his arguments to be persuasive on paper but not nearly as much when I hear him speak.

Carly Fiorina is also getting a big post debate boost but I am not sure yet she is the first woman nominee for the Republicans. I will say her comments on abortion are the most accurate and persuasive I’ve ever heard. She is powerful and prepared when she comes to speak and I think she does have a future in politics but so far I am not sure where.

Now having said that let me rip through a few more names that I don’t think have a chance. These are in no particular order-

Mike Huckabee. Well it seems he’s tried this before and in the end it will be the same result. His best news cycle so far was something about leading Jews to the gas chamber or something like that.

Chris Christie. I think the big man’s chance was here four years ago and he would have been best served taking a run back then.

Rand Paul. Make sure you understand he is a different kind of Republican but in the end like so many others he cannot win. I applaud his efforts to scale back the Patriot Act and protect our privacy but it isn’t going to be enough. Plus his skirmish with Trump on the debate stage looked a little beneath the office to me.

So that leads me to three that may have something to offer. Again these are in no particular order.

Marco Rubio. When I went back and listened to the debate he came across as reasonable and direct in his answers. Rubio is a true believer in America with no apologies. I’m not sure he ends up on top of the card but he may end up there none the less.

Scott Walker. Walker is a fighter and a guy who has proven his mettle in the political arena. He’s been elected three times in just four years and he’s taken on the hard core liberals head on without apology. He may have a real shot at coming out on top of this thing.

John Kasich. Kasich is still the guy I think has the best resume and a unique style that lends itself well to him winning in the end. The latest polls show him surging in New Hampshire in the post debate surge. Remember New Hampshire is really the first state that matters. Sorry to the folks in Iowa but it is true.

So if Trump doesn’t make it and that is anybody’s guess considering how many times so many so called experts have already counted him out, how would it all end up without him?

My best prognostication for next November without Trump is this: I see John Kasich rising to the top with his pragmatic approach, conservative fiscal attitude and his ability to work with people from all sides. I think he would be well served to ask Marco Rubio to join him on the ticket. Make no mistake a ticket that locks in Ohio and Florida for the Republicans will be very hard to ignore and I think these two offer a terrific one two punch. Plus you have Rubio’s Hispanic roots as a big bonus.

I also see Carly Fiorina as another great choice for the number two slot. If Hillary does survive this time to get the nomination and I hope she does, Carly would be solid medicine for the fictitious war on women, the battle over abortion and the desire by so many to see a woman rise to the top tiers of American government.

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