Video: Romney vs. Newt on immigration, Santorum vs. Romney on RomneyCare

posted at 10:30 pm on January 26, 2012 by Allahpundit

Two highlights of the evening, both via BuzzFeed. Remind me again, what’s the evidence from this interminable debate series that Newt would totally PWN Obama in the debates this fall? He’s had two memorable moments, one attacking Juan Williams and the other attacking John King, neither of whom is actually running for president. All day long we heard about how angry he was on the stump about Romney’s Freddie Mac hypocrisy and his secret bank accounts and his richie-rich richness, and how Newt was spoiling for a fight. So what ended up happening? Romney neutralized him on the big immigration exchange at the beginning, and then it fell to Santorum — for the second debate in a row — to pick Romney apart on his core policy vulnerability. (He did a darned fine job of it too.) If you’re operating under the illusion that the election will turn on the presidential debates in October, kindly explain why Gingrich is somehow superior to Santorum. He wouldn’t even accept Blitzer’s invite to hit Romney on his Swiss bank account even though he’s been criticizing him on the trail for it for days. The hapless moderator/punching bag had to badger him into answering. Mystifying. Didn’t Newt realize that the primary was on the line tonight?

You’ll be pleased to know that Romney is now a 91 percent favorite to win Florida on InTrade as I write this, up from 74 percent earlier today. Stats guru Nate Silver thinks it’s possible that Romney wins by double digits, perhaps by as much as 20 points. And why not? After Santorum’s strong performance tonight, there are bound to be tepid Newt fans and true undecideds who prefer him as the anointed Not Romney and will start peeling away tomorrow. Who could blame them?

Exit question: Did Brett O’Donnell just cinch the nomination for Romney?


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