Round Two: DING!

Like a heavyweight title fight, CNN is readying itself for the second round. The first round apparently went to Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and Donald Trump on a point system no one can figure out…but we’re getting set for round two. And there are a lot of things that have to happen for a lot of people in this particular round. Let’s take a look!

DONALD TRUMP: Trump MUST do well again. I don’t doubt that he will. Trump is a talker, and gets himself into and out of trouble with his mouth. Why would jousting with a few politicians, a doctor, and a former CEO be any different? He’ll do fine.

BEN CARSON: The eyes are going to be on Carson this time around. He had a knockout punch with his closing comments in the first debate, but the rest of the evening was only so-so at best. He has to do better, longer this time out.

JEB BUSH: He needs to show up. He needs to spark some interest in an other-wise lackluster campaign. He started jousting with Trump, and I’m not so sure that’s a good idea for him. He wanted to appear to be the “preferred candidate”, like his brother did when he first ran. Didn’t work. Now what? We wait to find out.

TED CRUZ: Cruz did well the first time around. And he’s gaining the nickname “Trump-Lite” because if The Donald falls, Ted will be there to pick up his supporters (which he needs desperately). His stumbling points are going to be with the GOP leadership and big wigs who don’t see him as anything more than a teenager throwing stones at cars.

MARCO RUBIO: Rubio came out very polished in round one. Here, he’s going to have to show he can take command of a crowded stage. That’s difficult to do for anyone. He’s back in the polls nationally, and has to show why he matters.

CARLY FIORINA: She gets the “prime-time” stage in round two…thanks to a CNN rules change. But she deserves it. Let’s see how she does with the big boys.

SCOTT WALKER: He needs a KO bad. He has stumbled a few times since the first debate and needs to show the world that he’s relevant. So far, the world doesn’t believe him.

MIKE HUCKABEE: The former Arkansas Governor did well in the focus groups after round one, but it hasn’t translated to much of a bump in the polls. He needs to catch fire and soon or he’s heading back to Little Rock!

JOHN KASICH: He’s now a contender in New Hampshire after a late start. Can he be a contender all over? He doesn’t have time for 30 visits to each state!

RAND PAUL: Dismal performance last time out. He’s got one chance to shine and then he joins dad on the sidelines.

CHRIS CHRISTIE: He’s been “out Trumped” by a New Yorker. Seems that’s the way it goes for Jersey, doesn’t it?

RICK SANTORUM, BOBBY JINDAL, LINDSAY GRAHAM, JIM GILMORE: Does it matter? Nope. Do us all a favor and drop out while you’ve still got some credibility left!

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