If you were looking for the fifth GOP debate of this topsy-turvy 2015 to upend or reshuffle this race, you came away sorely disappointed. Instead, this foreign policy focused forum merely solidified the standings of Donald Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz as the top three candidates in the GOP contest. The debate was not without some surprises. The normally bellicose Trump remained relatively passive and, but for a testy exchange with Jeb Bush, unusually disciplined. Most important he demurred when given the opportunity to attack his strongest rival in Iowa - Ted Cruz. Of course, given Trump's erratic and unpredictable behavior, this doesn't mean he'll keep the gloves on indefinitely. Even so, the lack of fireworks between Cruz and Trump was good news for Cruz whose road to the nomination runs through Iowa. Bush looked more confident than ever. But, it is unlikely to do him much good. He took some shots at Trump but, unlike Fiorina did in the second debate of the season, Bush wasn't able to shut Trump down. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie was in

More from the Cook Political Report

Four Possible Leaders; Four Unenviable Tasks
National Politics
Photo of Charlie Cook
First Person
Cook Politcal Logo
Where History Rhymed and Where It Didn’t
National Politics