The biggest development of the Republican presidential campaign on Thursday happened in Austin, Texas – 1,000 miles from the leadoff caucus state where GOP front-runner Mitt Romney and seven of his opponents squared off ahead of an important test vote this weekend.
Texas Gov. Rick Perry sent word that he was running for the GOP nomination, casting a shadow over the debate and threatening to upend the race.
Back in Iowa, Romney emerged unscathed with his leader-of-the-pack status intact after two feisty hours; his two Minnesota rivals – Rep. Michele Bachmann and former Gov. Tim Pawlenty – sparred repeatedly as each sought advantage ahead of Saturday’s Iowa straw poll.
Overall, the dynamics of the campaign did not change with a single debate. And they may not change when Saturday’s straw poll results are announced.
But the race could well change in the coming days as Perry dives into it.
Read More at Real Clear Politics By Thomas Beaumont, Real Clear Politics