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On the Road: What's at Stake at Dartmouth

The debate hall on the campus of Dartmouth College.
Photo by Bob Daemmrich
The debate hall on the campus of Dartmouth College.

All eyes are on the top three GOP presidential candidates tonight - with each hoping to answer lingering questions about their ability to win the nomination.

  • Can Mitt Romney finally win over a skeptical GOP and convince them he's the most electable candidate?
  • Can Herman Cain turn the momentum that's made him the "hot" candidate of the moment into support that could make him a viable competitor?
  • Can Rick Perry turn around his poor debate performances and win back voters that still aren't sure they like Romney and want a viable alternative?

One interesting thing to note tonight: Governor Perry will not be in the center of the group like he was at previous 8 and 9 person debates. The recent surge in the polls by Herman Cain has the former Godfather's Pizza executive in the seat next to poll leader Mitt Romney.

Maybe not sitting right beside his #1 adversary will let Gov. Perry better formulate his attacks. It could also mean fewer attacks from other GOP candidates. They may turn their slings and arrows back to Mitt Romney - with a few even directed at Herman Cain. That could also give Perry room operate without having to constantly respond to attacks from the rest of the crowd.

Texas Tribune photographer Bob Daemmrich bumped into Perry's son Griffin on campus this morning. He says his father went running this morning, something he has not been able to do much since his back surgery. And that he plans on taking a nap this afternoon to get ready for tonight.

Ben Philpott is the Managing Editor for KUT. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @BenPhilpottKUT.