Mesa, Arizona (CNN) - It's been 26 days since the candidates left the stage at the last CNN debate in Jacksonville, Florida, and the growling hunger pangs of the media have grown louder even as the candidates grow weary.
There have been 19 Republican presidential debates so far, and while some may have debate fatigue - including a few candidates - the forums have nevertheless proved to be illuminating experiences. They have garnered sky-high TV ratings and have become "event" television. They have helped to define several candidates while others fall from grace in front of the live cameras.
Washington (CNN) - Nearly a year ago on February 12, 2011, Rep. Ron Paul won the CPAC straw poll. But the result was less important - it was a straw poll after all, and we know how much they mean - than who was included on the massive 15-person ballot. Chris Christie! Sarah Palin! The pizza guy Herman Cain in his pre-999 days! This was going to be such an exciting 2012 GOP race.
And then ... it wasn't.