Two New Hampshire Republican Debates In 13 Hours!

With the Iowa Caucuses results starting to sink in, and with the New Hampshire Primary now about two and a half days away, the six remaining GOP candidates for President square off tonight at 9 pm EST, televised on ABC, and at 9 AM EST tomorrow morning on NBC and MSNBC as part of MEET THE PRESS.

To have two debates over a period of 13 hours is in itself amazing, and a real test of ability to hold one’s composure, answer in an appropriate way without obvious mistakes, and make an impression on New Hampshire and national voters.

Mitt Romney is heavily favored, but needs to keep his wide lead over the field, or else it will be considered a defeat by many media sources. He also needs to keep his calm demeanor, and not overreact temperamentally to any attacks by his opponents, of which there are likely to be many, particularly by Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum, his closest challengers in the long run.

Newt Gingrich needs to demonstrate that he can be strong, assertive, but not obnoxious or condescending against his opponents, never easy for him, and to stop being a “cry baby” about strong attacks by his opponents, since he was the master of such tactics in his years in the House of Representatives.

Rick Santorum needs to show that he is concerned about other issues than social conservatism, and that he has the ability to draw independent support, which seems unlikely.

Ron Paul is Ron Paul, and is not going to worry about any impressions he makes, as he goes by a different drummer, as the saying goes.

Rick Perry needs to prove he has any legitimacy left, and not stumble as he has so often done in earlier debates, and convince people that he is the better choice for social conservatives, than Gingrich or Santorum, not a likely scenario.

Finally, Jon Huntsman needs to win New Hampshire, or end up a competitive second, as he has built his campaign so much on New Hampshire, ignoring Iowa altogether. If he wins or end up a close second, he can move on to Florida and other states. Otherwise, he is done for 2012!

So that is the summary of what must be accomplished or perceived about each of the six finalists for the nomination, and there will be lots of analysis after the joint debates, with the primary just two days away by their end!