WASHINGTON, June 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The field of Republican candidates is finally starting to take shape said a national pollster after the debate this week in New Hampshire. Mitt Romney held the lead, Michele Bachmann gained and Tim Pawlenty lost ground.
In an interview with Chuck Conconi for Focus Washington, Dr. Ron Faucheux, President of Clarus Research Group, said winners and losers began to surface in the aftermath of the debate at Saint Anselm College in Manchester.
"Michele Bachmann (R-MN) won the expectations game," Dr. Faucheux said. "Of the 'single-digit' candidates, she really emerged and distinguished herself."
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney held onto his front-runner status, Dr. Faucheux added, but former Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty lost ground by not attacking Romney for his health care achievements in Massachusetts and their perceived similarities to the President's health care victory last year.
The President was in effect the focal point of the debate, as personal attacks among candidates were spared in favor of assailing Barack Obama, Dr. Faucheux noted.
"It looked like they all prepared for the debate together," he said. "And they said, 'OK, we're not going to attack each other, we're just going to attack Obama.'"
Dr. Faucheux concluded that a Republican who has not yet entered the race may emerge as the frontrunner in a relatively weak field. Texas Governor Rick Perry was cited as such an example.
This interview on Focus Washington is part of a continuing series of political interviews throughout the 2012 presidential campaign.
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SOURCE Focus Washington