Newt Gingrich showed that he is equally comfortable debating his Republican opponents as both a fiery underdog and an even keeled front runner.
Gingrich gets major points for not falling back on past tactics of playing to the crowd and bashing the media. Two methods of gaining favor that worked well as a scrappy underdog but would not play as well coming off his South Carolina victory.
Mitt Romney was never able to forcefully make his point in hammering away at Gingrich for his ties to Freddie Mac and his explanations on his tax returns and illegal immigration left a lot to be desire.
Romney was also not able to rise to the occasion during the last question of the night on the topic of what has he done for the conservative movement.
As someone who needs to appeal to this base his answer was round about and vague at best without giving meaningful examples other than reciting his personal and professional biography in bullet points.