Editor’s Note: Debates aren’t moving GOP race

Nolan Finley
The Detroit News

After watching the latest Republican presidential debate this week, I’ve concluded that these almost monthly events, while wildly entertaining, aren’t going to be what finally brings rationality to the nominating process.

The candidates who aren’t Donald Trump rise or fall a notch or two based on their debate performance, but they don’t land the punch that knocks him off his perch well atop the field. I don’t think it’s possible.

Nothing Trump says or does during a debate is going to topple him, nor is anything his opponents say or do.

I found it amusing that while Jeb Bush was lighting into Trump, the CNN cameras went to split screen, showing Trump making faces and rolling his eyes. Bush’s points were completely lost in the fascination with Trump’s mugging.

I’m not sure when this field is going to sort itself out. But I don’t think the debates are going to be the vehicle that does it.

I predict now the status quo of Trump on top and Ben Carson, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz taking turns popping up, but still a long ways from striking distance, will last until the actual voting begins in Iowa and New Hampshire in early February.

And even then, it might be a lot longer than that before the true anti-Trump emerges, if ever.