1) With another debate occurring five days from now (a CNN debate in Orlando), this debate will not be the smackdown that pundits believe will (and want to) happen. There will be nothing like the Bachmann-Pawlenty bitch-off in the last debate. In fact, if the non-Perry candidates collude to lay off Perry tonight, they could let him “win” the debate on purpose so that expectations for him in five days would be insurmountably high. Then they’d pounce and draw blood.
Verdict: Wrong. There was some serious bitch-offs, most initiated by Rick Perry though.
2) Santorum will use one of these words tonight: “sodomy” “polygamy” “finger-banging” or “taxes”
Verdict: Correct. I’ll let you guess which word it was.
3) Perry’s criticism (desire to cut its budget) of FEMA will be brought up to contrast with his willingness to take FEMA assistance for the Texas wildfires. He will pivot well and come off as a strong leader.
Verdict: Wrong. Didn’t come up.
4a) Romney will land at least one respectable punch on Perry during the debate. Failure to do so would have the entire media labeling him a Pawlenty-light-weight tomorrow.
Verdict: True. He won’t be looked at as a light weight tomorrow.
4b) Romney can “win” by holding his own against Perry.
Verdict: Sort of. He held his own, but he is being looked at as doing a “strong second” instead of “winning” or “losing”.
4c) The entire discussion tomorrow will be about whether Perry or Romney appeared more Presidential/strong/relaxed/good looking/confident/etc.
Verdict: Yea, kind of. It will be more about Perry v. Perry. The Perry that makes conservatives cum their pants, and the Perry that makes everyone else shit theirs.
5) Huntsman does better than expected.
Verdict: Correct. Most think he did well. Maddow actually said Huntsman lost ground. That’s crazy. Huntsman didn’t win the debate or do crazy well, but he did better than expected and will get some good press about this. Must do well (read: even better) in Orlando in five days too.