The other candidates, in their effort to destroy Mitt Romney, have decided it's time for the next phase of their strategy: ignoring him. They went after each other far more than in previous debates -- Fred Thompson aggressively pounded at Mike Huckabee, while John McCain and Rudy Giuliani pointed out a few "contrasts" between them -- but left Romney alone. They wouldn't even really rise to the bait when he went after them.
That's gotta hurt.
I thought Freddie Ballgame was the big winner of tonight's debate, which should hurt Romney in the South Carolina polls. And I don't think McCain or Huckabee slipped up, so they should both continue to look good in Michigan and SC. Giuliani was fine, but to be honest I think even most Republicans don't want the trillion-dollar "biggest tax cut in history" that Giuliani dreamed up after getting his ass kicked in Iowa and New Hampshire, nor believe that it's any more than a ploy for votes. (And who introduces a huge tax cut plan after New Hampshire votes?)
Mitt Romney did fine tonight, I thought, but did nothing to change the dynamics of the race, and he's running low on time to do that.