The four remaining Republican presidential candidates locked horns in the final debate before next week’s contests in Michigan and Arizona and the Super Tuesday races to follow.

Former USA TODAY White House Correspondent Richard Benedetto says many Americans got their first good look at Rick Santorum. Benedetto says Santorum did pretty well in the spotlight but didn’t have the lights out performance he may have needed. He explains how Santorum has a tough time separating himself from the Bush administration.

“Usually you vote with your party and you have to live and die by that. He was only being a good soldier.

“I don’t know what Republicans are looking for, they seem to be looking for different things in different weeks.”

Benedetto also assesses new polling numbers showing Romney leading Obama and Santorum within one point. He says despite the competitive numbers, the best news in the poll belongs to Obama.

“Presidents who are able to maintain a job-approval rating of 50 percent in their election year usually get re-elected.”

Benedetto explains how Obama could be hampered by high gas prices and why the recent fight over contraception and religious liberty may have been the intent of the Obama White House. And he offers some very tentative predictions on next week’s Republican primaries.

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