Think Chris Christie stole the fourth presidential debate? You're not the only one. CNN commentator Tara Setmayer offered us insightful analysis on what last night's performance means for candidates as we move closer to the election year.

"It was a shame that he didn't make it into the varsity debate- the main stage- because his presence was definitely felt in the prior debate," said Setmayer of Christie. "He added a value to the debates, a certain grit and forthrightness and straight that he’s been known for. And I think that if it hadn't been for the Trump factor, Chris Christie would be doing much, much better in the election cycle than he is now."

Despite Christie being unable to match Donald Trump's high popularity ratings, moments like last night allowed the governor to shine.

"When he’s on the debate stage people are reminded why they like him in the first place,” said Setmayer.

While Setmayer said she doesn't think Christie's success last night will improve his poll numbers, she believes he has a shot to come out in the top four candidates during the New Hampshire caucus. In her opinion, Iowa will see either a Ted Cruz or Ben Carson win instead.

What about the loudmouth billionaire who stole Christie's thunder as the political straight-talker?

“Trump was exposed also last night for his inability to really articulate specifics on certain issues," Setmayer said.

According to her, Trump has the biggest shot to win New Hampshire, but his popularity could dwindle as we near election day and voters reconsider the lack of detailed plans he's offered to solve America's problems. Jeb Bush is as good as done, too.

Stay tuned for more political analysis, and let me know who you thought won and lost last night's debate by commenting or tweeting at @kirabuxton.

Kira Buxton is producer of The Jim Gearhart Show and a professional photographer-videographer. You can reach her at

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