Sparks flew on immigration and defense spending in the fourth Republican debate Tuesday night, but few candidates came away as an obvious winner.
Real estate mogul Donald Trump and retired surgeon Ben Carson were the front-runners going into the debate, and some pundits said they expected their statuses to shift markedly after the event. In fact, every candidate in the prime time debate — including Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, Texas U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former HP CEO Carly Fiorina, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Kentucky U.S. Sen. Rand Paul — notched positive moments for their campaigns.
The "undercard" debate was much less explosive, with most of the back-and-forth coming from an argument between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Those two governors disagreed over whether the Republicans need a candidate who is best positioned to defeat a Democratic opponent, or if conservative economic adherence is the most important attribute.