The Washington Post's Dan Balz has been seen a good deal recently here in New Hampshire and has provided a comprehensive overview of the race. His analysis of last night's debate reveals a definitive moment that might be suggested in the phrase Mitt Romney and "the vacuum on the right."

Ron Paul, who took 40 percent at conservative forums last year, was barely mentioned. He was not mentioned at all in writeups by other commentators. Cain fades like the Cheshire Cat one caricaturist has presented him as. And Rick Perry, by his own account, stepped in it.

“A vacuum on the right has become one of the distinguishing features of the campaign for the GOP nomination. One by one, candidates have come calling for support. One by one, they have stumbled or have been found wanting by rank-and-file Republicans,” he writes.

Newt Gingrich rises, in opposition to MSM. He appears the best option now to face Romney. But is his appeal broad enough, and can the professor appeal to plain folk? That is the question and that is the question that Sarah Palin should be asking this morning. Possibly she created "the vacuum on the right" when she got off the bus and took it back to Alaska. As per last night it is safe to say there is still time to get in simply because nothing else is working. And the failure of the other contenders works positively in her favor.