Jon Huntsman will skip the Nevada Debates tonight in protest of the Nevada GOP’s decision to move their caucus date up to January 14th, throwing the whole primary schedule out of whack. Maybe he can get away with this because 1.) No one cares what Jon Huntsman is doing and 2.) He led all other candidates in fundraising in Nevada in the last quarter and might feel he’s done about as good as he can in that state.
Of course the story tonight won’t be that Huntsman won’t be there or that his GOP mandated four-minutes of actual air-time will now be split between Rick Santorum and Michelle Bachmann. The big story for tonight’s CNN debate will be whether or not other candidates will change their strategy in the wake of Herman Cain’s improved numbers. It’s a truism in politics that you aren’t the frontrunner until someone else is trying to take you down, and while a couple of people took swipes at Cain’s 9-9-9 plan in the last debate, the majority of the critiques were still focused on Romney. If the second tier folks start throwing tomatoes at Romney and Cain on a 60 / 40 basis then we might have a real race going on after tonight.
This article originally appeared at Politic365.com.