Once again, Mitt Romney had a great debate. He started off a little bit off groove in my opinion, but who wouldn’t when the moderator practically begs each candidate individually to attack you? Once that first set of questions passed, he shined. As always, he speaks best when talking about the economy and returning America to greatness. I was also very impressed with his defense of gay rights and his distinction between gay rights/anti-discriminattion and gay marriage. My favorite part was when the moderator asked him when the last time he advocated for gay rights was and the Governor responded with “I just did.” Overall, a very solid performance for Mitt.
Rick Santorum had a much better debate than last night in my opinion. He had a few moments that really stuck out: His comments regarding the gay community and respecting them and especially his comment about loving his child even if they were gay; His attack on Ron Paul – “All the things Republicans like about him, he can’t accomplish, all the things we’re worried about, he will do on day 1.” Overall, a good performance on his part.
Jon Huntsman usually seems to be in the background at the debates, but I feel like he had an above normal performance. He had a couple of lines that brought huge applause and I think he’ll get a slight boost from this debate. Honestly, I think he has a decent chance at surpassing expectations on Tuesday. His best segment was probably his comments on serving his country before party, and referred to his ambassadorship and his sons in the Navy. Honestly, I don’t have a major issue with him accepting the call to serve as ambassador under Obama (although many take exception to him leaving that role to run against his former boss).
Newt Gingrich had a pretty good debate, but the problem for me is that I can only remember one part of his performance, and that was his snide remark at Mitt for talking over his minute time limit. It was rude, and it only made me dislike him more. He does so much better when he stays positive. That one moment ruined the entire debate for him (in my mind, at least).
Ron Paul also had a good performance (aside from getting nailed by Santorum’s previously mentioned quote). The moment that I liked the most was his remarks on gas prices. I usually get annoyed at him talking constantly about the federal reserve, but his comments regarding printing money being a major cause of high gas prices definitely echoed with me.
Rick Perry was off on the side and didn’t really stick out in this debate. The one moment where he really stuck out was when he decided to remind everyone of the three departments he wants to cut. When he got through the third name, the whole audience cheered and clapped, congratulating him on his memory. It was a funny, light-hearted moment, and I think it helped him recover from his previous failures.
Overall, I think Ron Paul, Rick Santorum, and Jon Huntsman will see a boost. Obviously it won’t be enough to beat Mitt Romney, but that’s not what matters in this state. The order of placing and spread will be key.
My predictions for Tuesday are that Mitt will perform well and meet expectations. Ron Paul will also do well, and possibly exceed expectations. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him in the mid 20′s on Tuesday night. Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich will be practically tied. Santorum has the momentum to pass Gingrich, but I don’t think that’ll happen. Gingrich will probably be ahead. If Jon Huntsman is anywhere near them, or passes them, I think that will exceed media expectations. I think he actually has a decent chance at doing so. Rick Perry has absolutely no chance and doesn’t care. He’s already focused on South Carolina and his 1 or 2 percent vote in New Hampshire won’t mean much.
What do you think? Do you agree or disagree? What are your predictions?
As always, leave your thoughts in the comments.
For my analysis on last night’s ABC Debate, click here.