The first Republican primary presidential debate is over. What did conservative viewers think of the candidates?

After the debate, Mark Meckler hosted a conference call with over 100 conservative leaders to see who made an impression.

On a national grassroots call hosted by Mark Meckler, tea party leader and founder of Citizens for Self Governance, Texas Senator Ted Cruz came out as the clear early favorite of national grassroots leaders. The call included over 100 tea party leaders and some former country Republican Party officials from 33 states including the early primary states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada.

Even as Sen. Cruz was the heavy favorite among these grassroots activists, many also took Donald Trump seriously. But if anyone was in second place with these callers it was Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who many said had proven he could take on the unions and the liberal establishment and beat them at their own game.

Moderated by Mark Meckler, the one-hour call featured a very wide range of conservative activist groups. 9/12 groups, tea party groups, local Republican organizations, and supporters of an Article V Constitutional Convention were invited to participate in the call, and while some disagreed on candidates – especially Donald Trump – they all expressed a concern over the scope and size of government.

Read more about the discussion on Breitbart. Meckler also summarized his take on “winners and losers” after the debate on the Convention of States blog. On Trump, he summarized:

The man with the most to lose, lost the most. Donald Trump made several bad mistakes; he refused to pledge not to run third party, he attacked Meghan Kelly inappropriately and generally came across as rambling and incoherent. He failed to directly answer the difficult questions and generally didn’t comport himself well. He was unable to keep up with the pack. He showed himself for what he is…a narcissist, and not a serious contender.


Gathering conservative opinions in this call is just one of many ways Citizens for Self Governance seeks to organize and unite the conservative grassroots. The federal government is too far gone to be fixed even by the perfect President — but it sure would help the fight for liberty to have an ally in the White House.

About The Author

Mark was a co-founder of the Tea Party Patriots, and served as the national coordinator. He left the organization to work more broadly on expanding the self-governance movement beyond the partisan divide. Mark appears regularly on television in outlets as diverse as MSNBC, ABC, NBC, Fox News, CNN, Bloomberg, Fox Business and the BBC. He’s highly sought after for the tea party perspective from print and electronic media outlets, from the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, L.A. Times, Washington Examiner, Politico and the The Hill. Mark blogs at, and his opinion editorials regularly run in many of the leading political newspapers both on and offline. Mark has a BA in English from San Diego State University and graduated with honors from University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in 1988. He practiced real estate and business law for almost a decade. For the last eleven years of his legal career he specialized in Internet advertising law. When not fighting for the future of our nation, Mark is an avid horseman, and lives in rural northern California with his wife Patty and two children.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

14 + 1 =