Break down the Fox Business debate by the data and you get this story: The Republican establishment is getting torched.
The Thursday night debate was supposed to be a moment for one of the establishment picks — namely Marco Rubio — to punch through. The establishment cluster of Rubio, Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and John Kasich needed a clear pick to go toe to toe with the Donald Trump/Ted Cruz showdown that's dominating Iowa and New Hampshire. Instead, Trump and Cruz out-talked the whole field. They soaked up the airtime handily.
Dig deeper, and the picture for the establishment gets worse. Christie, a candidate probably too moderate to win the nomination, led the establishment pack. His strategy: deny saying he ever endorsed Sonia Sotomayor for the US Supreme Court and create a fantasy version of post–Common Core policy in New Jersey. That's not good news for the establishment.
Splice the numbers another way, and the picture gets worse.
Trump and Cruz didn't just speak the most — they spoke the most consistently, dominating the entire event. The only establishment presence who came close to keeping up, again, is Christie. As for Rubio, in the middle of the debate he's MIA.
Then there were the attacks. Instead of trying to knock out Trump or Cruz, the bulk of the night's attacks were focused on Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama:
If the establishment wants to win the nomination, they've got a lot more talking to do.