Ron Paul's performance last night was strong and aggressive, and he scored real hits on Santorum. It seems clear that this was, in terms of how the media has responded to it, one of the best (or THE best) debate performances ever.
At this critical stage of the game, with skepticism towards Santorum starting to surge, and Romney still looked upon poorly by many Republicans, and Newt gaining little traction in his attempt to reassert himself, we are in prime position for our polling numbers to pop after that great debate.
The key indicator should be this one: The Gallup Tracking Poll
This poll is the gold standard of election tracking polls, and their methodology is sound. Their exact numbers may be a bit off, but it is a four day rolling average, and so it certainly picks up trends.
The most recent numbers released today indicate Feb. 18-22 polling. That doesn't include today, mind you.
IF Ron Paul picks up more than a point tomorrow, i.e., if he gains two points or more in tomorrow's Gallup release, then we know FOR SURE that the debate had a HUGE impact and we must immediately seize upon this opportunity to try and rocket Ron Paul into a higher position.
Think about it: If Ron Paul picks up more than a couple points tomorrow on Gallup, that means that ONE poll taken TODAY has enough of an impact to transform the FOUR DAY AVERAGE by 20% (in relation to the rolling average) or more, meaning his actual support in that one poll is much higher than the average and even higher than the new rolling number.
So far, the biggest increases in support that candidates have gained have been for Newt and Santorum, Santorum after he won the Iowa caucuses and later after he won the three states, then Newt after South Carolina. In each case, the candidates at most picked up 3 or 4 points in the Gallup average on a single day.
If we, too pick up 3 or 4 points tomorrow, we know this debate had a tremendous impact and we might surge in our own way, perhaps up to the high teens nationally.
Look for it. I really think it's quite possible. I'm so thrilled that Ron blew 'em away last night.