Trump won't be the next president, but he might be the kingmaker

Against this backdrop, what happened instead last Thursday was eye-opening—as in millions of opened eyes.

This wasn’t 2011 all over again. In the past four years, something has changed. The party’s nine strong and winning Senate candidates in 2014 were an intriguing upgrade. But now this group.

You expect Republicans to take the “social-issues” questions and drive themselves into a ditch. But asked about gay marriage, John Kasich gave a remarkably thoughtful, apparently spontaneous, answer.

They asked Ben Carson if he’d bring back waterboarding. After a moment, Dr. Carson replied, “There is no such thing as a politically correct war.” It was a good answer.

Chris Christie got into exchanges with Mike Huckabee on Social Security and Rand Paul on surveillance that offered a look into where the lines are drawn on two relevant issues.

Immigration questions have been the GOP’s Bermuda Triangle for two presidential election cycles. Now, they handle them.