Without pausing to think about the debate, my instant thoughts are that Herman Cain was the most likeable guy in the debate. His cancer survivor moment was unbeatable. Newt is still by far the best debater. If he didn’t have so much baggage, he would be a serious candidate. Bachmann disappeared again. She is done. Romney and Perry continued to beat each other up, but will continue as the leading candidates. They will certainly be fact-checked. Perry’s immigration stance may be a big turn-off for many. He clearly ran out of steam late in the debate again. Romney continues to defend Romneycare while saying how bad Obamacare is, which likely will not play well with voters. But Romney was smooth and strong overall.

All of this said, Cain wins, Newt makes everyone smile, and Perry/Romney hold as the leaders.

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