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Debate recap: And then there were 3

Ron Paul’s campaign self-destructed tonight.  The way to trip up Ron Paul is to always bring up foreign policy and then he goes off the hinge.  He may have a loyal following but they will be very hard-pressed to persuade anyone to come over to them.  He’ll start falling in the Iowa polls within a week.

Rick Perry given the somewhat shortened time he had tonight, was very, very good.  As a Perry supporter I was very pleased.  Bringing in Tim Tebow was a nice touch.  His answers regarding Fast and Furious, limiting government and judicial intrusion, border security, even classy deference to his opponents in the end.  Each debate he has become better.  Probably the most revealing thing I see is just how much the Fox News’ analysts venom they have toward him.  Why in the world do they have Democrats critiquing Republicans? Pat Caddell hates candidates that remind him too much of Reagan’s conservatism.  He is also very anxious as well as the rest on the panel to bury his candidacy.

Newt Gingrich was really put through the wringer tonight and I thought survived it well.  If Gingrich didn’t have all the personal baggage he has, he would be running away with the nomination.  As always, he gives very well thought out and detailed answers.  I also thought he handled Bachmann’s attacks very well.   However, he took a beating on Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.

Mitt Romney had a good performance as well.  He got hammered by Chris Wallace on his flip-flopping and some responses weren’t so impressive.  His response on the GM bailout sounded like a defacto endorsement of the bailout.  His answer regarding his experience in the private sector and creating jobs I thought was his best moment of the night.

Bachmann and Santorum had good performances but their lack of executive experience will probably keep them out of consideration.  It’s one and done for both of their campaigns.  They have invested everything in Iowa.  I don’t see anything that tells me their campaigns will last beyond New Hampshire.

The Fox News panel stating that this was such a great performance of Newt is true, though I don’t believe it will reverse his downward momentum.  The personal and political baggage of his past is hurting his campaign a lot.  The lack of infrastructure in Iowa and a lack of presence from Gingrich (he won’t be back until the 28th) tells me that Gingrich will not win Iowa.   There is a huge swath of conservative voters that are still undecided in Iowa.  I can envision a late break for the Iowa winner the weekend prior to January 3rd.

Just my take everyone.  You don’t have to agree with it :)  The race is down to Perry, Gingrich and Romney.  It’s going to be fun until January 3rd.

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