I didn’t watch the debate, for I had a feeling that it wouldn’t matter much. This debate analysis strikes me as reasonable (not written by yours truly).
Ned Barnett, a long-time issues management and campaign consultant, a leader in the Nevada Republican Party during the “Tea Party Wave” of 2010, the author of more than a dozen books on effective communications, and an adjunct professor at two universities, writes as follows:
Saturday night’s Republican debate could have made all the difference for any one of the candidates. Instead, it didn’t make any difference at all, not for any of them. The men at the top of the polls didn’t stand out, so nothing’s changed there. Yet the men at the bottom all stood out – all of them did about as well as they could have hoped – and each turned in his best performance to date. This means that none of them gained an advantage over his fellow low-polling contenders.
This means that the status quo will not be rocked, and the New Hampshire primary will turn out about the way the polls predicted.
The media, in the immediate aftermath of the debate, didn’t think so – but they are wrong.
Barnett then gives a candidate-by-candidate summary that seems equally evenhanded and fair. Check it out at the link, above. It’s short.