At last night's "round table" debate at Dartmouth College, a new front runner emerged while an old one solidified his place at the top.

Last night it was all eyes on Herman Cain, who has been making his way to the top of the pack in recent weeks. It seemed a good portion of the debate was dedicated to him and his "9-9-9" plan. As a matter of fact, the "9-9-9" plan was pretty much all he talked about, and was attacked consistently by his fellow contenders.  All things considered, for his first time as a central figure in the debates, I'd say Cain did pretty well.

As for former front runner Rick Perry, he was all but invisible. He got very little screen time this time around, compared to his other debate appearances, and didn't take many shots at his opponents, even though he had quite a few opportunities. Although his performance was much better than it had been in recent debates, it was not the stand out performance he needed.

And as usual, Mitt Romney came out on top last night, virtually unscathed by his opponents' attacks. Whether or not these debate victories will ultimately result in a presidential nomination for Romney remains to be seen. But at this point, I won't be surprised if Romney's name makes the final ballot in 2012.

For more on last night's debate, you can visit politico.com. There's still a bit of time before the first primary election, but if anyone wants to catch up to Romney, they better start bringing out their best game.