MSNBC's Chris Matthews: "I didn't say that [Romney] won yet, but I'll say it now. I thought Romney came out of the shoot tonight with that first answer on the stimulus package which showed a great deal of confidence and sophistication. It's what everybody wants now. They want to believe there's somebody smarter than we are, and can figure out this global crisis."
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough: "The first 30 minutes - it was about the economy. I thought Mitt Romney absolutely dominated that segment of it." "I think conservatives probably related to Mitt Romney, talking about tax cuts, talking about being a governor, talking about what he did in the private sector for all those years. On the economic part of this debate, I don't think there is any doubt that this was Mitt Romney's best performance."
MSNBC's Pat Buchanan: "I got to say that I think clearly Mitt Romney dominated tonight. His performance was flawless. He looked presidential." "I think Romney clearly won tonight." "He looked terrific. He got off the best two lines of the night." "I think he was crisp and strong." "If Romney is in the lead tonight and people are looking at this, he looks to me like a man, quite frankly that can beat Hillary Rodham Clinton and can be president of the United States."Townhall's Hugh Hewitt: "Mitt Romney should send a thank you card to Tim Russert and Brian Williams. They threw hard balls at the former Massachusetts governor and he hit them all, many out of the park. Romney's allocation of time had to be disproportionate, but that was the Williams/Russert choice, and Romney made the most of it." "Democrats watching tonight have to be very worried that Mitt Romney will be the GOP nominee."
National Review's Rich Lowry: "Romney has seemed authoritative – confident and on his game..." "'We're the Party of Change' ... Home-run answer from Romney. It was drawn from his standard lines on the stump, but a terrific message, convincingly delivered." "Romney is dominating the last half-an-hour."
MSNBC'S Chuck Todd: "Romney looks good and sounds confident tonight."
Time's Mark Halperin: "... Romney came out strong, unapologetic and on message." "[Romney] settled comfortably into the 'looks and sounds like a president' zone that is one of his chief assets." "[Romney] Seemed to anticipate an eventual one-on-one contest with McCain, and displayed the confidence of a man who feels certain he has a spot in the finals. Bottom line: Benefited more than anyone else from the oddly low-key nature of a high-stakes."
Michelle Malkin: "Romney's being treated like the front-runner and he's acting like it." "Romney just out-McCained McCain on the war." "Excellent Romney answer on Iraq. Strong, tough, focused on the surrendercrats. He takes on Dems for their withdrawalmania cites debate in SC when Hillary refused to say she wanted to win and recycled Code Pink line." "Romney excoriates Dems and says 'how dare they' take credit for surge."
ABC News' Rick Klein: "Romney gets an initial question on the economy -- this is tailor made for him. He sounds authoritative and in control on this subject."
ABC News' Jake Tapper: "Romney, who is in a dead heat with McCain for first place in some recent polls here in Florida, had perhaps the best night, presenting a polished and confident demeanor."
MSNBC's Text Message voting after the debate asking who won, came in last night at:
*NOTE: Ron Paul ALWAYS wins any text message or Internet poll, regardless of how good or bad he performs. His rabid supporters think holding up signs and voting for him in Internet polls will somehow translate into votes. It never has for him, and it never will. (You can read my blog on Ron Paul from back in November here.) Anytime I see a Text Message or Internet poll, I automatically toss out Ron Paul, but there can be some insight into how well the other candidates are doing. The fact that ANYONE even came close to Ron Paul in a text message poll is news. =)
MSNBC's Pat Buchanan
MSNBC's Joe Scarborough:
How'd McCain do?