Fox News commentator and Democratic pollster Doug Schoen credited former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney
with a “clearly dominant” debate performance Thursday that is likely to change the dynamics of the GOP race.
Schoen said there is “every likelihood” that Romney will now surge past Texas Gov. Rick Perry in the polls in coming weeks, in part because Perry’s defense of positions on Social Security and tuition for illegal aliens “Make no sense. It’s not defensible.”
Polls taken before the debate show Perry to be the clear front-runner. But some pundits believe Romney’s attacks over Social Security are blunting Perry’s momentum.
“I thought it was a clear win for Romney,” Schoen told Newsmax shortly after the debate. “He looked presidential, he was able to pivot off the attacks from Perry.
“He landed some blows on Obama, he landed some blows on Perry on subsidizing illegal immigrants, and I thought it was a huge, huge night for a candidate who so far has not debated that well. Tonight [Romney] was the only candidate who appeared presidential,” Schoen said.
Schoen had criticized Romney’s earlier debate appearances as shaky and uncertain, but he described him Thursday as “in command, in control, and clearly dominant.”
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