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The GOP Debate: Many Questions, Some Answers, Lots of Grunting

Photo: David S. Holloway / CNN Saint Anselm College Manchester, New Hampshire

According to Mashable, Mitt Romney came out on top of the GOP debate last night in Facebook terms, adding 19,658 likes by the end of the night. In second place was Michelle Bachmann, who added more than 9,200 likes and made headlines with her announcement that she’s planning to run for office (which would explain why she was there in the first place, no?).

But The Washington Post puts her on top, not only for her big announcement, but also for being “quotable.” “She is a very good communicator,” said one of her pollsters Ed Goeas, with others also giving her the top nod.

The Daily Beast adds Rick Santorum to the winning line up for just looking the part. And everyone agrees Tim Pawlenty was one of the night’s losers, cowering in the face of his “Obamneycare” statement. Even FoxNews.com writes, “That was very bad news for a guy who has conservatives wondering whether he has the brass to go head to head with a sitting president.”

Actually, Salon says Americans were the big loser because it was clear that the candidates have some funny ideas about how the economy and basic math work.

The real question is did the debate matter for these prospects when you look at the big- picture goal: getting voters to support you at the ballot box. After all the analysis, it’s still too early to tell.

The LA Times posed 10 questions pre-debate and and followed up today to see if they were answered. They were, but much of the follow up focuses on the future and what could happen during the long stretch towards election day where more candidates are planning to enter the fray and more variables have yet to be considered.

Separately, but also in the win column was CNN, whose #CNNdebate got major traction on Twitter, although the sentiment wasn’t clear since there was a lot of sarcasm.

One thing people were clear on was that moderator Jon King‘s sounds throughout the debate — grunting and lots of “uh”s — were a distraction. “John King softly hooted through that entire debate,” one commenter wrote. It actually sounded like a crossed signal that kept interrupting the broadcast. Moderator fail.

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