So here’s what I learned from the guys at Panera Bread this morning:

1. Romney made Santorum look bad without making himself look good.

2. Consensus: Gingrich was very impressive; he’s the one who could beat the president. I said I won’t vote for him because he’s an ———-. Response: But he’s an ———- who can save the country. He did win the debate after all.

3. A couple of intelligent people who switched from Newt or Cain to Santorum are now thinking of switching back to Newt. Possible mini-Newt surge in GA?

4. Probing question: Is Santorum too extreme to be president? Evidence: Abstinence education isn’t a proper function of government.

5. Not a single good word said about Romney beyond his effectiveness in keeping Santorum on the defensive.

UPDATE: The latest poll from GA, which was, of course, not influenced by the debate, has Gingrich holding on to a narrow lead and Romney a weak third. The effectual truth of the debate might be that Santorum doesn’t end up overtaking him over the next week or two.

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