From: Baltimore Sun
Who won the GOP debate? The audience thought Ron Paul did
Who won last night’s Republican presidential debate on CNN?
It’s a question a lot of pundits have been asking — and there seems to be some consensus forming among the analysts: Former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney and Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann.
But judging by the reaction of the audience in New Hampshire, a different candidate carried the night and he’s a candidate many analysts are saying emerged as a loser.
That candidate? Congressman Ron Paul of Texas.
An analysis of audience reaction shows Paul was applauded twice as much as any other candidate on stage.
Throughout the two-hour debate, Paul was applauded 11 times. Romney, Bachmann, and former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty were each applauded five times. Former House speaker Newt Gingrich and businessman Herman Cain were each applauded four times. Former Pa. Senator Rick Santorum was applauded the least amount of times: Three. …
What’s strange, though, is how uniformly pundits’ opinions have been in favor of Romney and Bachmann — and how different their reaction is to that of the audience in New Hampshire. (A poll of so-called “GOP Insiders” revealed party establishment minds believe Paul finished last. View that poll here.)
Now, I realize Paul’s supporters tend to be louder and more enthusiastic than other candidates’ and the amount of applause is hardly a scientific way to judge a debate. But to not even consider as a potential debate winner the person who was applauded more than twice as much as any other candidate strikes me as strange.
Maybe it shows a vast separation between the media and the beliefs of grassroots GOP activists? Maybe it shows that Paul’s supporters are simply more enthusiastic, though not larger in number? I don’t know.
What I do know is this: People don’t cheer things they don’t support.