Interesting format that I’d love to read your comments about. A roundtable where the candidates sat down, addressed videos of the candidates at previous campaign events, and even had the opportunity to ask each other questions.
Who do you think won the debate? Check back often for updated polls, reaction to the debate, and full video of the debate when it becomes available.
UPDATE by Jayde – We know Romney supporters are anxious to see video of the debate, so until we find one video of the entire debate, we’re posting the debate in 10 parts:
To read a transcript of the debate click here.
UPDATE from the Washington Post (The debate was held at Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire):
* Mitt Romney: We expected Romney to shine in this economic-focused debate and shine he did. Romney was knowledgeable and detailed — as expected — but also relaxed to the point where he let a little bit of his personality show. Romney’s biggest hurdle in this race is that he strikes lots of people as inauthentic and awkward. Not only was the head and shoulders above the other candidates on stage when it came to looking presidential, Romney also showcased his human side. His best debate in a string of very solid performances.
Also, The Page by Mark Halperin grades the debate:
In a debate which was dominated by the economy and short on policy detail, Romney’s main rival Rick Perry failed to deliver.
Former governor Mitt Romney consolidated his front-runner status on Tuesday night in the Republican presidential race, overshadowing his rivals in the latest debate which was dominated by the country’s faltering economy.
His main rival, the Texas governor Rick Perry, needed a strong performance after seeing his poll ratings drop sharply, the result of doing badly in the previous two debates. But he again failed to deliver.
Republican strategists were scathing about Perry’s inability to mount a comeback, and his lack of fire. The veteran Alex Castellanos said Perry’s team had complained that he had been tired in the last debate because he had had to stand for so long. This time, he had been sitting down, but was still lacklustre.
“Next time he is going to have to get a mattress,” Castellanos said on CNN of the Texas governor’s sleepy performance.
In a debate short on policy detail, Romney, emerged as the most fluent and most at ease[…]
Romney’s success in the debate came only hours after he secured the much-prized endorsement of the New Jersey govenor Chris Christie, who last week announced he would not be joining the race.
GOP12 from The Hill only passed out 1 A grade and it went to Gov. Romney.
He didn’t just run circles around everyone. He ran squares and isosceles triangles. He can talk forever on economic issues; whereas, Rick Perry’s answer for everything is just two words — “energy independence”, which means that, at least, he can’t literally be accused of one-word answers.
Romney was that rarest of phenomenons last night. He was placed in an environment that perfectly suited him, and was close to perfect in it.
Everyone lowers expectations for debates. Romney neither lowered nor raised them before last night’s seated scrum. He just went in and showed his economic chops without showing off.
It’s exactly why Democrats fear him the most. Right now, he’s running about evenly with Barack Obama in national polls, but that’s before debates or any significant exposure before the nation. You put him in a debate, with a bad economy and Barack Obama on the other side, and even Mesopotamia would prefer taking its chances against Alexander the Great.
It’s been said before, but above all, he exudes competence, which is what voters want. Instead of putting on ideology on and then trying to fit his conclusions around it, he seems to find conclusions and then use his ideology to explain them.
In short, it would be very difficult for the Obama campaign to demonize him as a dangerous ideologue, which is exactly what they’ll try to do to any Republican nominee, including Romney.