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Observations from FOXNews / SC GOP Debate

After watching this debate in advance of this weekend's SC GOP Primary, here are my thoughts:

  • Clear winner was Former Speaker Newt Gingrich! Extricating himself from the Romney / Bain controversy was his most troublesome point. After that, he was the star. Direct responses on Conservative perspectives on Jobs, Economy, & the principled differences w/ PrezBO & Democrats stole the show! Newt was so on point that he shared this positive, opportunity-based perspective and vision.
  • Former Governor Mitt Romney was succinctly prepared for questions on Bain. His preparation was point on. Once the questions and issues transitioned to others that he wasn't prepared for - he struggled at times. As the front-runner, who did nothing to undermine that position (or advance it), he earned a runner-up.
  • Former Senator Rick Santorum and Governor Rick Perry had moments, but both were absent during whole segments of the debate. Santorum succeeded in getting Romney off his game and on the defensive once the topic departed Bain, but failed to capitalize. Perry's strong points were likely an example of too-little too-late.
  • Representative Ron Paul violated one of the first lessons that our mothers taught us: When you are not making sense, quit talking! He did really well explaining some of his ideas on defense and the military, but kept talking and navigated directly to the kook-fringe Twilight Zone that the now-departed Jon Huntsman identified.

In an earlier blog article, I'd made the point that we were at the end of the road for both Huntsman and Perry. If polling from Real Clear Politics is accurate and Perry is facing a now-last place finish in South Carolina with 5% of the vote, he will soon join Huntsman among the "former Presidential candidates" list.

Assuming that Paul will continue forth after South Carolina, there are likely only two more "tickets" out of the Palmetto State. Romney as the presumptive front-runner gets the first. The other will either go to Gingrich and Santorum. The results this weekend will ultimately decide it. I'll stick to my earlier prediction that Gingrich makes the two-man race for the eventual nomination.


Based on the most recent polling data from Rasmussen> out of South Carolina, Gingrich has pulled to within striking distance of Romney (27% trailing 30%). Should the former Speaker get close or beat Romney, my earlier prediction of this campaign's outcome becomes even more likely.

To her credit, my lovely wife ("SwamiStephanie") made a prediction that Gingrich would win South Carolina. Looking at the current momentum, she could prove to be as good a prognosticator as I can sometimes be!