On Tuesday 28 the CNBC News Network hosted the third republican debate, which saw the ten highest polling republican candidates address some of the key issues of the primary. The debate was met with controversy as many candidates criticized the moderators and their lines of questioning, accusing them of trying to stir up the pot and pitch the contenders one against the other.

Even President Obama commented on the polemic:

“Every one of these candidates says, ‘Obama’s weak, Putin’s kicking sand in his face. When I talk to Putin, he’s going to straighten out,’ and then it turns out they can’t handle a bunch of CNBC moderators.”

The 2016 Republican presidential race seems to be riddled with internal fights and complications since as of today there are still at least 13 candidates who poll at a minimum of 1% nationally.  We are going to break down the information we have so far about those who have participated in the last debate to help you keep track of what is going on.

The winners

MARCO RUBIO: The Fresh-and-Clean Guy

Marco Rubio is a Junior United States Senator from the state of Florida. He is young, well-spoken but critics accuse him of being too soft on important republican issues, especially on immigration; In 2013 Rubio joined a bi-partisan group to draft the so-called “Gang of Eight” bill, a measure that pushes for a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million illegal immigrants currently residing in the United States – a highly disputed stance within the party.

In the debate he came off as compassionate and relatable often referencing how he grew up in a low-income family and is therefore cable of understanding the struggles of everyday Americans; this puts him at a great advantage in a panel dominated by millionaires and billionaires. His optimistic views made him stand out but also exposed him to attacks by other presidential candidates such as his ex-mentor Governor Jeb Bush, who accused him of being inexperienced and missing 59 Senate votes since he launched his campaign. However, the attack backfired and Rubio scored the political point by responding:

“The only reason you are doing it now is because we are running for the same position and someone has convinced you that attacking me is going to help you.”

JOHN KASICH: The Results Guy

Second term Ohio governor John Kasich has started his career in politics serving as a State Senator from 1979 to 1983 and then in House of Representatives from 1983 to 2000. He pushes for concrete policies and demonstrates how he is going to accomplish his goals with the results he has achieved in his state. During his time as a Governor, Ohio´s economy has grown at one of the highest rates in the US, although critics say it has mostly to do with the State´s recent involvement in the fracking industry. As a senator in the Clinton administration he personally worked on balancing the budget for the last time in over 15 years. At this moment he faces two major challenges: Getting noticed by the Republican base and distancing himself from the image of a career politician by showing how his experience will help him pass concrete legislation on key issues such as the economy.

His strongest moment in the debate was when he accused other candidates of making promises they cannot keep, especially when it comes to a new tax plan:

“Folks we gotta wake up, we cannot elect somebody who doesn´t know how to do the job”.

He stayed focus on his talking points and showed he was competent but the crowd did not respond as enthusiastically as for other candidates.

DONALD TRUMP: The Strong Negotiator

Trump established himself as a real-estate giant and a successful business man. He is worth more than $4.5 billion and he has jumped ahead of all other candidates in the polls since he announced his race bidding in June 2015. He has been at the very center of many disputes as he made several radical comments regarding immigrants and other fellow candidates. He presents himself as a leader who has succeeded in the private sector and who “will make America great again”; many people support him for his aggressive approach and because he is not a traditional Washington politician.

Overall Trump did deliver a strong performance in his very own simple and straight-forward way of speaking. He is often criticized because of the lack of substance of his arguments but he did take home the strongest line of the debate:

“Our country doesn´t win anymore (…) we lose on deals, we lose with ISIS, we lose with the worst deal I’ve ever seen negotiated of any kind, that´s our recent catastrophe with Iran”.

He then proceeded to brag about how he renegotiated last minute the conditions of the CNBC debate, reducing its duration from three to two hours, a claim that has been denied by the network but that made an impact on the voters.

TED CRUZ – The Demagogue

Ted Cruz is a Junior Senator from Texas who places himself on the far right of the political spectrum in the Tea Party movement. As a strong conservative he looks at Washington as a source of corruption and perceives compromise as a sign of weakness. His consistent opposition to Obamacare led to the shutdown of the federal government this past year.

In his debate performance he deflected from substantial question to address the bias of media against conservative candidates and his remarks were welcomed and appreciated by the crowd;

“Let me say something at the outset: The questions that have been asked so far in this debate illustrate why the American people don’t trust the media,”.

The losers

BEN CARSON: The Professor

Ben Carson is very well respected ex-neurosurgeon who personifies the idea of the self-made man, coming from a troubled and poverty-stricken background and rising to the top. He is mainly supported by religious voters being a man of faith himself. In the past he has been accused of lacking political experience and showing little understanding of current events. His debate performance was slow and confusing at times but his numbers in the polls keep rising, even putting him in first place ahead of Trump in some cases, as voters seem to appreciate his soft-spoken, well-mannered style.

JEB BUSH: The Establishment Guy

Coming from a dynasty of political leaders, Jeb Bush has been involved in politics since the early 1980s, becoming Governor of Florida from 1999 to 2007. He has been endorsed by many big donors, raising over $13 million, and has been described as a favorite from the get-go. He continues in the path of his family as a moderate conservative supporting legislation to reform immigration, the education and welfare system and proposing a more pro-establishment tax plan.

However, his numbers are falling rapidly and putting him in 5th place in most polls. Partially this is due to the fact that the political conversation in the GOP has moved further to the right and that Governor Bush does not seem tough enough to stand out against more conservative candidates; Also, the voters of this election cycle seem to show a preference for leaders coming from outside of the political world: Although the name Bush initially brought him name recognition, it could be detrimental in the long run.

During the debate he often interrupted the moderators to push for his talking points without delivering them in a convincing manner. He also came off as weak in the eyes of the most conservative voters by showing willingness to compromising with the Democrats and telling the worst line of the debate:

“You find a Democrat that’s for cutting taxes, cutting spending $10? I’ll give them a warm kiss.”

The others

Senator Rand Paul did seem competent and able to explain his Libertarian point of view to the audience but he also gave the impression that he didn´t really want to be there.

Carly Fiorina tried to push her image of an efficient CEO who could get the job done but was not quite as good in doing so as in her past performances.

Governor Chris Christie, the man of the people, did address his constituency directly in a very down-to-earth manner but he spent most of his time attacking candidate Hilary Clinton Instead of talking about concrete policies. His support as well as that of Mike Huckabee dropped so dramatically that they did not qualify for the main debate next Friday and will be interviewed separately with candidates who polled at lower numbers.

Overall we can conclude that the political axis of the GOP has moved significantly to the right with many candidates holding positions on foreign policy, immigration, welfare legislation and tax reform that would have been considered very extreme in the past election cycles. Moreover people seem to show an increased appreciation for candidates who are not “professional politicians” and who could perhaps bring a new perspective into the Oval Office.