Video: Not very classy focus group dumps on Trump after debate

He took the criticism in stride, vowing to prepare twice as hard for the next debate and wow the naysayers. No, just kidding. He called Frank Luntz a slob, of course.

Hey, he may be nasty to critics but at least he supports single-payer health care. As for Megyn Kelly, who committed the mortal sin of mentioning things he’s said about women that the media will mention 50,000 times in the general election if he’s the nominee, he passed along this comment from one of his Twitter fans:

There’s even an online petition floating around on by Trump fans to have Kelly banned from moderating further debates. The question every patriotic American must ask this morning: Is Megyn Kelly secretly working for the Mexicans?

In all seriousness, I doubt Trump’s numbers will dive much, if at all, in next week’s polls. Some members of the focus group here grumble that he seemed angry and bombastic, but … that’s how he’s supposed to sound. That’s what makes him Trump. The guy shot to first place ranting about Mexican rapists. What was he supposed to talk about last night, earmarks? If Trump suffers from the debate, I’d bet it has less to do with losing voters who already liked him than failing to gain those who were on the fence. If anything, his new war with Kelly and Fox News may help solidify some of the support he’s already earned. If you like the guy because he talks back to the Republican establishment, why wouldn’t you like him for talking back to Fox?

[J]udging by Thursday’s raucous, electric debate, Trump may have sensed his true opponent before anyone else had a clue: It’s Fox News. Throughout the evening, Trump and his inquisitors battled back and forth like gladiators. Both parties emerged as huge winners. Though nearly devoid of substance, it was the most entertaining debate I’ve ever seen…

I called Janet Roberts, 69, a nurse in Bellville, Ohio, who participated in last week’s Bloomberg Politics poll and supported Trump (“He has the balls to stand up to the career politicians”). She had agreed to give me her reaction immediately after the debate. When I called, Roberts was furious. “I had more emotion about Fox News tonight than I did about Donald Trump,” she told me. “Those questions were not professional questions. They were bullying. They were set up to purposely make them all look bad. Our country is a mess and I feel like the debate was an example of that. I’m still with Trump.”…

There’s an unspoken accord between Trump and his supporters that Thursday’s debate can only have intensified. Trump rants and raves in language that upsets and scandalizes the establishment. In return, his fans annoy the elite know-it-alls by rallying to him anyway. Together, they raise a big middle finger to everyone. That’s the art of the deal.

Right. At some point the supply of Republicans who think annoying the elites is the most important criterion in a president (at least at this verrry early stage of the campaign) will be exhausted and Trump will hit his ceiling, but there’s no real reason to think it’s exhausted yet. And as for the supposed danger to Trump in confronting Fox, the right-wing news network, I think there’s less to that than some lefties do. Trump fans aren’t going to dump him out of some supposed loyalty to Fox; the only way to break the hero-worship of Trump would be if he ended up squabbling with a bigger populist hero, like Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin. Fox, for all its (comparative) virtues, is usually reliably establishmentarian.

Anyway, Kelly’s show tonight should be interesting.