Rick Perry may have seriously damaged his chances of winning the Republican nomination with his poor debate performance Thursday. But NBC News' First Read notes that debate winners are not always primary winners -- Hillary Clinton, for example. Another bit of evidence? This headline from the Los Angeles Times on Deceber 9, 1999: "Bush's Winning Glow Dims After Poor Debate Reviews."
After his less-than-commanding performance in two presidential debates, George W. Bush faces a tougher race than expected amid growing signs of Republican discontent...
... including a new poll that shows major slippage in the key primary state of New Hampshire.
For Bush, more troublesome than sagging poll numbers may be his failure to dispel questions about his intellect and preparedness for the White House. To many, Bush came across in the debates as uncertain, propped up by rehearsed responses and a series of stilted talking points.
"He gets the deer-in-the-headlight look that Quayle used to get," said Fred Davis, a GOP media strategist and former [Dan] Quayle advisor, who feels both men are smarter and more appealing than their critics suggest. "You almost see his brain trying to remember what he was told, and Quayle came across that way."