HolyCoast: The Not-Romneys Had a Good Night in South Carolina

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Not-Romneys Had a Good Night in South Carolina

However, with so many not-Romneys sharing the win (Newt, Rick & Rick), it doesn't really take much wind out of the Romney sails.  If anything, it just splits the not-Romney vote even further.

Jim Geraghty collected some reactions to the debate:
Chuck Todd: "Romney didn't have great night; But because Gingrich, Santorum and even Perry (that order) shared some moments, Romney has to feel OK."

Kurt Schlichter: "This was a good debate. Our nominee is going to be tested by fire when he faces BHO, who has been sheltered for 3 years."

"I think this debate makes it a lot harder to choose between Santorum and Gingrich if you hate Romney," concludes 
David Freddoso.
Robert George: "Strong debate for Newt. Perry/Santorum better than usual. Mitt rather weak until end. Ron Paul's foreign policy didn't work here."
Guy Benson: "Newt's = winner. Santorum pretty sharp, too. Romney had good 1st answer, slumped, then recovered in 2nd hour. Perry mixed, Paul incoherent."
Susan Anne Hiller: "If Mitt cant even win a GOP debate this far into the campaign, how is he supposed to beat back the media and Obama?"
Larry Sabato thought the early Bain discussion went well for the front runner: "This subject is a gimme for Romney. 95%+ of Republicans back 'free enterprise'. That's how Bain issue has HELPED him -- within GOP."
Alex Castellanos thought he saw a slip from the front runner when he was touting his economic plan: "Romney: 'I'm not even President . . . yet.' Small slip but dangerous. Can't seem presumptuous or voters will let him know who's in charge."

"Mitt's arguments are so much more generic and modular than Newt and Santorum . . . he's really going for broad, abstract GOP talking points," Jeff Greenfield 
notes.
One interesting turn of events that will likely occur this week before the South Carolina primary is the announcement from Iowa that Romney didn't win after all, but was beaten by Rick Santorum by something like 80 votes. On election night Romney was declared the victor by only 8 votes, but in the subsequent certification the numbers have shifted a bit. Could this give Santorum a little more momentum leading into Saturday's vote? We'll see.

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