The answer will surprise you. (Hint -- it may not be even one of the candidates!)
Who won the 5th Republican debate in Las Vegas Tuesday night? Each candidate's campaign probably thinks they won; there was plenty of back and forth and each candidate had their good moments. Cruz and Rubio argued repeatedly; Trump and Bush went back and forth; Christie and Kasich came on strong; Rand Paul held strong positions; Carly Fiorina had some good points.
However, the real winner was revealed when the debate was almost over. The real winner -- in our opinion? The Republican Party!
How is this the case? Coming into the debate, the Republican Party had a front-runner -- Donald Trump -- who did not seem very committed to the party. Just the week before, he had threatened to mount an independent run for President if he wasn't treated fairly -- and he was the one who would determine who was treated fairly! So if he didn't win the primaries and felt he wasn't treated fairly, he could run as a third party candidate -- which would virtually assure Hillary would be the next President. Even if he won the Republican primaries, the Republican Party would be wondering if he was really a Republican if he was ready to leave if he lost.
All that changed Tuesday night. By declaring strongly that he was a Republican -- win or lose -- and would not mount a third party campaign no matter what, Donald said to the Republican Party -- and everyone watching -- that he would not leave the party. So the Republican Party could now breathe a huge sigh of relief. If Donald wins, he wins as a strong Republican. And if he loses, he will not run as an independent. There is joy in the Republican Party today!