I have written  before about the theory of fractals and their application to politics, the tendency of patterns to replicate at any scale. So here's another one: Whenever Mitt Romney had his back against the wall in the Republican primaries, he used the debates to regain momentum. There were exceptions: the infamous $10,000 bet, and the reference to his lawn company’s use of illegal immigrants. But many more times throughout the long debate calendar, the forums worked to Romney's advantage and helped him ward off challenges from various other candidate surges: Perry, Gingrich and Santorum were eventually dispatched in order.  Under this theory, Romney will use the first debate, on Oct, 3, to regain the offensive and reset the race.