Republican debate: Five things to watch

Republican debate
For 90 minutes in New Hampshire today, the eight contenders in the Republican presidential will sit around a wooden table to shoot at each other and Obama. Theme Washington Post / Bloomberg debate, which begins at 8 pm, is the economy. As Karen Tumulty, who is one of the journalists to ask questions, wrote the previous debate finally shifted the momentum of the race. And now the debate is likely to set off yet another new phase.

Here are five key things to look for in today's debate:

1. Herman Cain is a contender or pretender?

In previous debates, Cain was a brilliant candidate-without-a prayer at the end of the stage, saying his tax plan 9-9-9 and his preference for the Chilean model of social security. On Tuesday evening because of its rapid growth in national polls, the former CEO of Pizza Cross will be Mitt Romney on his left, and Texas Governor Rick Perry on his right.

So, how do they relate to him when he is on his elbows and scratchy at their heels in the polls?

Romney praised Cain business background, suggesting that he did not see Cain as a threat. In fact, Cain's continued presence and a strong showing only help Romney. Perry, on the other hand, has the most to gain by going after Cain. But he must weigh whether tangling with Cain actually punching down.

Regardless of whether he is attacked, to support its growth, Cain should get more specific about his economic plan, and to show that he is more than a flash in the pan candidate with a catchy slogan.

2. Romney can take a punch?

Romney came out of a debate with hardly hair out of place, an opportunity to focus on his anti-Obama messages and deflect and dismiss its rivals with a simple turn of phrase.

In New Hampshire poll shows Romney with a strong lead, as well as national polls that he is in the upper part of the region and is considered strong on the economy, six men and one woman sitting at the table today, saw a bunch of Romney-on-point.

And there is no better opportunity to try to knock out Romney withdrew favorite step than the economy, its perceived strength. He is still facing criticism for its sustained presence in the private sector or as governor of Massachusetts. If possible attacks from all sides, it will be hard to ignore all. Romney will have more than a "nice try" to answer ready to defend themselves.

3. Rick Perry rebound?

Perry, individual performances were very similar to the debate on the trajectory of his candidacy so far: he starts strong and then fades down the stretch. His Saturday Night Live worthy of display in the last debate it has caused a downward spiral in the polls, and his statements about military intervention in Mexico and the revelations about his family's hunting camp further damage to it.

While it is true that many voters have not yet begun to tune into the debate (available for your viewing pleasure tonight to and Bloomberg TV), the party cones are paying attention. They are looking for reasons to give a $ 17 million one more chance, or write him off is not sharp enough for the job.

In Florida, Perry seemed to have a child who is full the night before and remembered most of the material, but do not really know. Over the past few days, his team created a study hall debate, complete with artificial Romney to spar with. Aides also ordered Perry to get more sleep. With three readings for him, he knows what is going - jobs, taxes, immigration, health care, etc. He has to act strong, confident, prepared and comfortable tonight - or risk a slide resistant.

4. Whether the subject under debate?

Although the debate is one of the planned trading of the events of the campaign, they are also the most unpredictable. The format of this debate will be more stringent than previous ones, with an emphasis on the economy. Nevertheless, much has happened on the stump since the last debate that has nothing to do with the economic plans of candidates.

In the week before the debate, two important things happened. First, the revelation of the family hunting camp in Perry racially charged name. Secondly, a supporter of Perry called the Mormon cult, a charge which disavowed Perry. Yes, the debate is supposed to be about the economy, but with two Mormons - Romney and John Hunter - and a black person (Caine) around the table, can the moderators and the candidates avoid talking about race and religion? Or there will be clear skies now? Whatever happens tonight, with a black president in the White House, and a black conservative and Mormon front-runner in the Republican contest, race and religion are sure are hot buttons issues.

5. Who can argue their way into the skit Saturday Night Live?

Admit it. Part of the appeal of watching the candidates debate each other is looking for an oversight or the odd point, which leads directly to the desk cast SNL.

And George Bush is to use the word "strategery" to sum up his candidacy and the fact that Will Ferrell? And does Sarah Palin actually ask Joe Biden in the debate, "Can I call you Joe?" Or is that Tina Fey? The fact is, Saturday Night Live has a knack for the development of candidates and all their tics and flaws early, so as to not just shake.

While Alec Baldwin take the debate performance of Rick Perry missed the mark on the focus Perry (it was more than Mississippi, Texas), Baldwin nailed lunatic approach to Perry attack Romney. Baldwin may have missed yawn and fall asleep at the podium, and just read what Perry said, and yet scored big laughs. It should not be so easy.

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