The fourth Republican Debate, which took place in Milwaukee on November 10th, was a fierce verbal showdown between the party candidates. As the election cycle nears a critical point, the Republicans took no prisoners. Here are the key takeaways from the night: 1. Immigration Immigration emerged as a top issue, with candidates disagreeing over solutions as well as the core principles behind the issue. Immigration policy is a polarizing subject, and candidates traded shots over borders and visas. Donald Trump’s controversial remarks around wanting to deport illegal immigrants and banned the entry of Syrian refugees were met with fierce opposition, as seen with Fiorina and Paul’s counter arguments. 2. Economy The other major issues discussed were taxation and federal government spending. Trump advocated for cutting taxes and slashing federal government spending, while Kasich and Christie held more conservative views – balancing fiscal responsibility with easing the burden on small business and lower-income taxpayers. 3. Free Trade Candidates locked horns over the merits and risks of free trade. Donald Trump holds the strongest position on this issue, calling the current free trade system “unacceptable”. He explained how free trade agreements have hurt American manufacturing jobs as well as brought about greater levels of economic uncertainty. 4. Social Issues The candidates discussed a variety of social issues, such as LGBT rights and marriage. Trump once again took a strong stance, proclaiming that marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman. Kasich called for a more unified approach, advocating that all citizens should be able to “live their lives free of prejudice and hatred. 5. The Supreme Court The nominees also discussed their views on the Supreme Court. Dino Rubio argued that the upcoming President will be able to shape the court for years, with Donald Trump predicting that Scalia’s replacement will be someone similar to him in terms of judicial philosophy. The important takeaway from the night is that the fourth Republican Debate was a battle of ideas that cut to the heart of many of the issues being hotly debated in the current election cycle. As the election cycle continues, each candidate’s policy positions will continue to be scrutinized and dissected as the candidates vying for the highest office in the nation.