Winners, Losers, and Gary Johnson

Note: A winner is defined here as someone who has helped their chances in the debate while a loser has hurt their chances. Being a winner (especially for a second tier candidate) DOES NOT mean that they are likely to win the nomination.

Biggest Loser: Rick Perry

He did not have a good night. Like the at the last few debates he started off strong, then in the second half he faltered. Perry made a pitiful attempt to attack Romney as a flip-flopper on healthcare but failed spectacularly in the delivery. He continues to lack a conservative defense of in-state tuition for illegal immigrants even though the issue has been brought up multiple times in the previous two debates. The “don’t you have a heart” defense is not going to cut it with this crowd.

Loser/Winner: Mitt Romney

Romney was a winner in the sense that he did better than Perry. As Perry fades it’s Romney who stands to benefit in the short term and in the end he came out stronger in the debate. However, this seemed to be his worst performance yet and if Perry manages to get some better coaching Romney might be in trouble.

Loser: Rick Santorum

He did not answer the question from the gay soldier well. Between this and the Google fiasco (google his last name and see what you come up with) it looks like gay people are Santorum’s cryptonite.

Winner: Gary Johnson

Woody Allen once said that half of life is showing up. So in that regard being invited is a huge improvement from the previous debates.

Winner: Herman Cain

He probably had the best performance of the night. Here he is connecting healthcare policy and his fight with colon cancer:

Putting aside the fact he’s talking about a single payer system rather the healthcare bill passed last year, he really shined on that response.  Winning a debate like this is not about answering a specific question or even having all your facts in line. It’s about making a connection with the audience, portraying a image people want to vote for, and having one or two moments that people will remember the next day. A couple more moments like this combined with the decline of Perry and Cain might have more of an impact on the race than the poll numbers currently suggest.

All the others were neither winners nor losers. Bachman will probably continue to fade, Paul will continue to be the odd one out, and Gingrich will continue to entertain.

So that’s the last debate until October 11th. Thank God.

Posted By Max Viscio

Tagged , , , ,

2 thoughts on “Winners, Losers, and Gary Johnson

  1. […] Herman Cain has pulled off a shocking victory in an important Florida straw poll, besting front runners Rick Perry and Mitt Romney, and has brought renewed attention to his campaign. Straw polls are more of a test of organizational strength than actual support, but it does show that Cain has picked up some momentum from the last debate. Who could have predicted this? […]

  2. […] in the top three in national polls taken after his widely praised performance in the last debate. What sort of political genius could have possibly predicted such a dramatic turn of […]

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