October 3, 2012 1 Comment
I told you Romney was not a horrible candidate. He was damn good tonight. Obama too much the rambling professor he can be at times. Here’s my insta-thoughts for the Raleigh N&O (I gave them their game analysis, but ended with some PS pushback)…
Honestly, Romney seemed sharper, more assertive, and more energetic tonight. If we want to score this like a boxing match (which it seems that we generally cannot resist), Romney wins on points. Certainly nothing here, though, that strikes me as a knockout blow. Short of a complete Obama implosion, I’m not sure a knockout blow is even possible. There’s increasing evidence from Political Science research and analysis of historical public opinion data that debates just do not have a big impact on the state of the race. The best evidence at this point suggests Obama has about a four-point lead nationally. The cumulative effect of the debates may help Romney to close that gap, but there’s really not an historical precedent to think that the debates will allow Romney to overcome that gap—despite how much the post-debate spin suggests otherwise. My best guess—and its an informed one, but still just a guess—is that we’re looking at a 2004 analogy here: the debates help Romney close the gap against Obama (as they helped Kerry pull quite close to Bush), but that there’s simply not enough voters left who are truly up for grabs to allow a Romney comeback.
Listening to the TV talking heads while writing this. Pretty clear they don’t exactly read Wonkblog or MonkeyCage. They are pretty sure this changes everything!
Also, I did not plan on live-tweeting the whole thing, but I found that spending the debate on Twitter made it dramatically more tolerable. I know I’m supposed to just eat this stuff up, but really I don’t.