Fred just cleaned up with Frank Luntz’s focus group. By a huge shot. 3 people supported him coming in, and a majority of the voters liked him at the end.
Will this matter? Romney did very well in the last New Hampshire debate, and it didn’t help him much. However, with Romney out of South Carolina, that leaves a gap with the conservative vote. Thompson is perfectly situated to take that vote. As I said before, had Fred done this well before I think he could have beaten Romney in Iowa.
John Podhoretz: “Fred Thompson is not only winning this debate, he is giving the most commanding debate performance we’ve seen from any candidate in either party since the beginning of this endless primary process.”
Jim Geraghty, National Review Online: “Winner: Thompson. This performance was so commanding, I wanted his last answer to echo back to the lights in the back of the auditorium, blow out all the lamps and spotlights, for the theme to “the Natural” to play, and for him to trot around the stage in slow motion while sparks showered down in the background.”
Here’s an interesting thought: Fred is working with McCain to split the conservative vote to give McCain a plurality win. I don’t really buy into it, but it’s conceivable. McCain/Thompson would be a ticket that I would love to support.
Erick Erickson, Red State: “Fred Thompson owned this debate. He owned it. He dominated.”