Is Perry the 'most laid-back Texan since Matthew McConaughey'?

AUSTIN, Texas — The headline in the Los Angeles Times scored Tuesday night's Republican debate this way: "Romney No. 1, Cain 9-9-9, Perry 9-1-1."

The description undiplomatically reflected a consensus of reviews proclaiming that Perry failed to deliver a breakout performance in a debate in which he was upstaged by Mitt Romney and Herman Cain, whose recent surge has made him Romney's current chief rival in the Republican nomination race.

But analysts also generally agreed that Perry's performance, while lackluster, was not fatal.

The good news from Perry's perspective is that he still has $15 million in the bank to finance aggressive ad campaigns and ramp up personal campaigning, which many say is Perry's strength. Many analysts expect him to launch a series of attack ads on television soon, primarily targeting Romney.

Perhaps another bit of good news for Perry is that Tuesday's debate, aired on Bloomberg Television, reached a limited audience. He will face much more exposure in a debate that will air Tuesday on CNN from Las Vegas.

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