Newt and the Debates

by Rich Lowry

The effect of the debates has been amazing. The Quinnipiac poll has Gingrich leading on who has the knowledge and experience to be president and on who is a strong leader–almost entirely an artifact of his well-informed, forceful answers in the debates. It will be interesting how other candidates take him on, since he’s showed the power of not attacking other candidates in the debates. He’s also going to be ticklish for Romney to handle if the former Massachusetts governor ever feels compelled to attack him–Newt is the one candidate you could see besting him in a high-stakes exchange. I’m skeptical of Newt’s staying power, but if his resurgence endures, he’s going to benefit from Romney’s glaring weak spots in the early going: Iowa and South Carolina. A new poll in South Carolina has Gingrich way ahead.