Romney wins the debate season — and the key test for a challenger; Update: Romney hits 50% in Rasmussen tracker, up 4

posted at 9:21 am on October 23, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

Allahpundit linked to National Journal’s Ron Fournier last night in his excellent roundup of the debate analysis, but it’s worth considering again the next morning after the final debate of the 2012 presidential cycle.  Like many pundits after the debate, Fournier gives Barack Obama the edge on debate performance last night, but writes that Mitt Romney won the overall debate season — perhaps because Romney, unlike Obama, understood the stakes:

Mitt Romney wins. That’s not to say he won Monday night’s debate or the presidential campaign, but it’s safe to say he won an important chapter: The debate season.

With an acceptable, though far from exceptional, performance in his third and final face-off with President Obama, the former Massachusetts governor became one of the few presidential candidates to make debates matter.

Bottom line: Obama won Monday night’s debate on points, benefiting from the blessings of incumbency and hard-world experience. But the challenger held his own, and thus the state of the race is likely unchanged.

Debates between the two presidential candidates are ostensibly to force them to defend their agendas.  They mainly get used to produce sound bites, zingers, and gaffes that the media hopes to use to define the race.  Their real value to voters, however, is to test the presidential mettle of each man.  A President is presumed to have more of it, by virtue of his four years in the office already, so the challenger has to work hard to equal or surpass his stature.  Romney did that in the first debate, and in the two succeeding debates solidified his standing as a man at least Obama’s equal.

In fact, Chris Wallace wondered whether Romney was the one with the gravitas of incumbency last night:

Yeah, let me first give you my general opinion. And that was, I thought in the middle of the debate that if I had been on the desert island for the last four years and I had just been parachuted into this debate, I would have thought the guy that had turned out to be Mitt Romney was the president protecting a lead and that Barack Obama was the challenger trying, somewhat desperately to catch up.

Obama was slashing, was personal, was cutting, I thought that Romney was big-picture, seemed to have much more of an agenda for the future than the President did.  I e-mailed one of his top aides in the course of the debate, and said, “What’s behind this strategy?” Clearly he was not taking the bait, not getting into fights with Barack Obama.  This official said, “This is all Mitt Romney’s idea.  This is how he wants to conduct this debate.”

Remember Morrissey’s Axiom on Politics and Dating? Desperation is not an aphrodisiac.  Small wonder, then, that even in a PPP poll that proclaimed Obama the winner of the debate by eleven points in swing states that the net movement for both men wound up in the margin of error (+6 for Obama and +3 for Romney) — and not even among likely voters.

On substance, this was the least-relevant debate of them all.  Not only are voters not really watching for substance — which they could get rather easily by watching campaign speeches, after all — but foreign policy isn’t even really on their radar at all.  This economy is still all about jobs and the economy, as I point out in my column for The Week:

No matter who you think won last night’s presidential debate, it’s unlikely to have much bearing on the presidential election. In the end, voters simply don’t care about the issues of foreign policy anywhere near as much as they do about their own economic security.

That, by the way, is the norm for American presidential elections. In the last four presidential cycles, only 2004′s matchup between incumbent George W. Bush and John Kerry produced a foreign-policy issue with more mentions as “the most important problem” facing the nation among Gallup’s respondentsthan a domestic-policy issue. Not surprisingly, voters expressed considerable concern over the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, two major campaign issues in that cycle, with 23 percent listing wars as among their most pressing problems in the final month before the election. The economy in general only got mentioned by 21 percent of respondents, although 12 percent also mentioned unemployment. …

Gallup’s latest polling among American adults confirms this focus. While foreign policy may be the one arena where presidents have the most impact, it gets the least amount of concern in this cycle. This election has the largest percentage of “net economic mentions” of any of the last four cycles — even slightly higher than 2008, in the middle of the panic over the possible collapse of the financial sector (72 percent to 69 percent, respectively). Almost two-thirds of the responses came from “the economy in general” and “unemployment,” and 12 percent from the federal budget deficit. The wars, which still got 11 percent of the mentions in 2008, have now dropped to 3 percent in 2012.

These numbers do not change appreciably between men and women, either. In fact, women were slightly more likely to mention the economy and unemployment (64 percent) than men (62 percent). Health care came in a distant third for women (10 percent), while for men the federal deficit got the bronze (14 percent). Foreign policy only got mentioned by 3 percent of men and 4 percent of women overall — and in a blow to the Obama campaign’s attempt to stoke their “war on women” meme, only 1 percent of women even mentioned abortion.

This result shows how out of touch and off-key the Obama campaign has been in the final few weeks of the election. While Obama and Co. focused on Big Bird, voters worried about jobs. While Democrats obsessed about “binders,” women across the country were far more concerned with the economy.

Obama can’t win on the economy, and he can’t distract voters away from it.  And in a debate on stage alone with his challenger, he can’t even come up with enough gravitas to make himself look like he already has the job.  With two weeks to go, that’s a bad position for an incumbent.

Update: This obviously doesn’t include reaction to last night’s debate, but Romney hit 50% in Rasmussen’s tracking poll for the first time since early May, and now has a 4-point lead over Obama.


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Das Boot!! Das Boot !!!

FlaMurph on October 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

1

petunia on October 23, 2012 at 9:25 AM

Moochelle is calling for quotes from movers.

bayview on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

The President clearly was the better debater in the last two of three.

That’s a winning “debate season” in my book.

chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Romney has been the best surprise many Republicans have had since Reagan. Raise a glass to the Romneybots!

claudius on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Romney now up 4 on Rass

wargamer6 on October 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM

chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Man, that obama boost in the polls was huge!

wargamer6 on October 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Obama is sinking on intrade today. Kunta? Where are you?

stackedeck on October 23, 2012 at 9:27 AM

Desperation is not an aphrodisiac.

Sniff, sniff..what’s that? Ewwwwww. Flop sweat.

Wethal on October 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM

We have aircraft carriers?! When did we invent those things?!

John the Libertarian on October 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM

I think the biggest takeaway from debate season is how it laid bare Obama’s true personality. Without a teleprompter and an adoring crowd and media, he’s actually kind of a nasty, mean spirited man. His thin skin was front and center, and that’s why his “likeability”, (snort) is plummeting, and Romney’s is on the rise.

BettyRuth on October 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM

I didn’t watch, but my sense from following Twitter last night was that Obama was once again petty and juvenile, while Romney tried to stay above it all. Some people were angry that Romney didn’t take Obama to task over Libya, but that was probably the right call…that exchange wasn’t Romney’s best moment in the last debate.

It’s still funny to me that two weeks out Obama is STILL trying to rally his base (which is why we got the cheap shots and one-liners), while Romney is appealing to swing voters. That tells you a lot about the position each is in.

changer1701 on October 23, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Romney up to a 4 point lead in Rasmussen.

eyedoc on October 23, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Romney debated last night for the swing voters — I.e. he didn’t attack as much as he could have because those people who either haven’t made up their minds or are weakly moving away from their 2008 vote for Obama don’t want red meat attacks — they’re the ones who were looking for “presidential stature” out of the challenger.

Sacrificing potential attack points to shore up your least-solid support makes sense only if your and your handlers really do think you’re tied or ahead in the key swing states, since Team Mitt is betting the hardcore Obama opponents are still going to be on his side even after Monday’s ‘soft’ debate effort.

jon1979 on October 23, 2012 at 9:29 AM

Romney won the 1st debate handily and then kept winning on substance in the 2nd and 3rd debates. He needed to come off as Presidential and prepared and he did that. At this point Obama’s reelection can only happen if:

1) GOP turnout is low(not gonna happen)

2) A majority of Americans want 4 more years of this(very unlikely)

I think it’s over. We’ve only got 2 weeks til Election Day. Americans are comfortable with Mitt Romney as the Commander-in-Chief. And there’s no October Surprise(at least not one based in reality) that can derail his momentum.

Doughboy on October 23, 2012 at 9:30 AM

When did we invent those things?!

John the Libertarian on October 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM

We didn’t invent them.

cozmo on October 23, 2012 at 9:30 AM

I will breathe a sigh of relief to see him still pulling ahead in the post debate polls.

cheetah2 on October 23, 2012 at 9:30 AM

Romney up 50-46% in Ras. The momentum continues.

eyedoc on October 23, 2012 at 9:31 AM

The President clearly was the better debater in the last two of three.

That’s a winning “debate season” in my book.

chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

That you believe that is an indictment of the education system in this country. A lot of folks see to take their notions of debate performance from the WWE.

claudius on October 23, 2012 at 9:31 AM

The President clearly was the better debater in the last two of three.

That’s a winning “debate season” in my book.

chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Sure, if you’re grading on how small, petty, juvenile, angry, and hateful one can be, Obama won going away. As someone noted on Twitter, it was nice that the President was gracious to Mr. Obama.

changer1701 on October 23, 2012 at 9:33 AM

New Rasmussen Number Show Romney Pulling Away.

10-23-2012: Romney 50% Obama 56%

And in the Battleground States, Romney 50% Obama 45%.

Teaser Headline on Drudge.

cww on October 23, 2012 at 9:33 AM

The President clearly was the better debater in the last two of three.

That’s a winning “debate season” in my book.

chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Clearly? Obama did better in the 2nd and 3rd debates, but the problem is Romney outclassed him on substance at the townhall debate(the polls reflected that) and at worst tied him on that front last night. Plus he looked and sounded far more Presidential at the 3rd debate which IMO is the most important aspect of the performance when the topic is foreign policy which is way down on the list of priorities for most voters in this election.

Doughboy on October 23, 2012 at 9:33 AM

I think the biggest takeaway from debate season is how it laid bare Obama’s true personality. Without a teleprompter and an adoring crowd and media, he’s actually kind of a nasty, mean spirited man. His thin skin was front and center, and that’s why his “likeability”, (snort) is plummeting, and Romney’s is on the rise.

BettyRuth on October 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM

Nailed it.

changer1701 on October 23, 2012 at 9:33 AM

Just sent more money to Romney. I’ll be in the caribbean in two weeks so I cant help with the GOTV movement.

I love where we stand. Obama’s lines about bayonettes, horse, carriers, and the ’80s called for your it foreign policy’ the most unpresidential moments in memory. If America elects this clown- this country will have become something I never could be proud of. Kardashian moments that pundits and low info voters rally around, but diminishing of the office.

Romeny was the right choice for this election. Lets hope he has the legs for the sprint run.

Bensonofben on October 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

I think Romney did well last night – he didn’t panic and go all Biden on Obama and he didn’t say anything completely boneheaded. He was calm, cool, collected, presidential and informed. It was Romney’s to lose and he held his own.

Oh that note – it was a foreign policy debate, yes? So, I have a related question: Is Romney receiving the daily briefings that most candidates for President are allowed access to in the days following their nomination? Or is Obama still being a petulant, selfish child and withholding that information from Team Romney? If Romney isn’t receiving those briefings, I think he did _extremely_ well.

Timothy S. Carlson on October 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

The President clearly was the better debater in the last two of three.

That’s a winning “debate season” in my book.

chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Winning the “debate season” means who moved the polls. Obama hasn’t. This isn’t debate club. Winning on points doesn’t matter.

Resist We Much on October 23, 2012 at 9:36 AM

“This nation. Me.”

ROTFL. Oh, dear Lord.

RepubChica on October 23, 2012 at 9:37 AM

Romney has been the best surprise many Republicans have had since Reagan. Raise a glass to the Romneybots!

claudius on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Romney will likely prove the exact opposite of Reagan. The Gipper has given the right the rallying point and inspiration they needed badly, and achieved the greatest foreign-policy victory imaginable, but he failed on a number of critical issues on domestic front, such as national debt and shrinking the government. Romney will likely do what all successful businesspeople do – get to the number crunching without much emotional ado.

Archivarix on October 23, 2012 at 9:37 AM

The October Surprise is starting on Wall St. today.

FlaMurph on October 23, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Typo Ed: “This economy is about jobs and the economy…” should be “This election is about jobs and the economy…”

SuperBunny on October 23, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Romney won the third presidential debate – and how he did it was encapsulated in a single exchange. The candidates were discussing military spending and Romney had just accused Obama of making harmful cutbacks. The President wheeled out what must have seemed like a great, pre-planned zinger: “I think Governor Romney maybe hasn’t spent enough time looking at how our military works. You mentioned the navy, for example, and that we have fewer ships than we did in 1916. Well, governor, we also have fewer horses and bayonets because the nature of our military’s changed.” The audience laughed, Obama laughed, I laughed. It was funny.

But here’s why it was also a vote loser. For a start, Twitter immediately lit up with examples of how the US Army does still use horses and bayonets (horses were used during the invasion of Afghanistan). More importantly, this was one example of many in which the President insulted, patronised and mocked his opponent rather than put across a constructive argument. His performance was rude and unpresidential. Obama seemed to have a touch of the Bidens, wriggling about in his chair, waving his hands dismissively and always – always – smirking in Romney’s direction. By contrast, Romney sucked up the abuse and retained a rigid poker face all night. He looked like a Commander in Chief; Obama looked like a lawyer. Who would you rather vote for?

Speakup on October 23, 2012 at 9:38 AM

Ras:

Romney 50%, Obama 46%

47% See Better Economy With Romney, 35% With Obama

Resist We Much on October 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

The President clearly was the better debater in the last two of three.

That’s a winning “debate season” in my book.

chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

The “better debater” you say? You obviously weren’t watching last night’s debate.

rplat on October 23, 2012 at 9:40 AM

chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Again…put down the pipe, kid.

kingsjester on October 23, 2012 at 9:40 AM

Das Boot!! Das Boot !!!

FlaMurph on October 23, 2012 at 9:24 AM

Captain of the ‘Weser’: So, what’s it like down there, in a submarine?
Der Leitende: It’s… quiet.
Captain of the ‘Weser’: Quiet? Hmm.

Difficultas_Est_Imperium on October 23, 2012 at 9:40 AM

On November 6th, Americans will give the Machurian President das boot.

kingsjester on October 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Barky’s, body language said it all. The look on his face as Romney spoke was all anyone needed to tell who is winning this election.

Barky was seething for most of the night, clenching his jaw and glaring at Romney. Romney on the other hand looked presidential above his opponents petty attacks. That’s exactly what he needed to do to present himself as a viable alternative.

The bottom line is this. Our enemies abroad do not fear Barack Obama. American citizens do.

Game set and match Romney.

jrgdds on October 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM

The country must be chooming. Obama only scored points on how to be a horse’s ass.

John the Libertarian on October 23, 2012 at 9:42 AM

Team Barry’s ship is going underwater.

bayview on October 23, 2012 at 9:43 AM

Ras:

Romney 50%, Obama 46%

47% See Better Economy With Romney, 35% With Obama

Resist We Much on October 23, 2012 at 9:39 AM

Granted, Ras(al-Ghul) does go back and forth during the week between a Romney lead and an Obama lead, but if those economic numbers hold up, Obama is toast. People are going to vote in this election primarily on the economy.

And BTW, it’s worth noting that Romney’s maintained a lead in the Ras poll for a little while now(and has now upped it to 4 today) which is something he wasn’t doing consistently before.

Doughboy on October 23, 2012 at 9:43 AM

It is about the economy and Rombo landed a haymaker right near the end when he rattled off the dismal numbers of unemployed, food stampers, etc.; people are going to remember that from the debate since so much of the rest of it was forgettable.

Bishop on October 23, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Oh that note – it was a foreign policy debate, yes? So, I have a related question: Is Romney receiving the daily briefings that most candidates for President are allowed access to in the days following their nomination? Or is Obama still being a petulant, selfish child and withholding that information from Team Romney? If Romney isn’t receiving those briefings, I think he did _extremely_ well.

Timothy S. Carlson on October 23, 2012 at 9:35 AM

Yes, he’s been receiving those briefings.

changer1701 on October 23, 2012 at 9:44 AM

Bbbut…Obama has a new 20 page booklet outlining his plan for a second term…

*snicker*

workingclass artist on October 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

Boom chumpthreads

cozmo on October 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

New Rasmussen Number Show Romney Pulling Away.

10-23-2012: Romney 50% Obama 56%

And in the Battleground States, Romney 50% Obama 45%.

Teaser Headline on Drudge.

cww on October 23, 2012 at 9:33 AM

I’d never criticize a type (goodness knows I’ve made my fair share) but your post did drive me to Drudge to check it out.

rplat on October 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

The President clearly was the better debater in the last two of three.

chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Yeah, ‘cuz everyone loves a smart-a$$.

SailorMark on October 23, 2012 at 9:46 AM

Romney wins focus group in Ohio

CBS

gophergirl on October 23, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Romney camp’s new battle-cry: “Fix bayonets!”

SailorMark on October 23, 2012 at 9:47 AM

This official said, “This is all Mitt Romney’s idea. This is how he wants to conduct this debate.”

Romney could have been much tougher on Obama and really called him on the carpet for multiple issues. But while that would have been a turn-on for the base, it would have been a turn-off for independents.

Romney shrewdly and very intentionally avoided attacking Obama, while Obama repeatedly attacked Romney. And while Obama’s attacking of Mitt Romney won Obama some cheers from his base, it also turned off independents.

So, while Romney lost the battle (the 3rd debate), he is winning the war (winning the independents necessary to win the election).

For Mitt Romney, winning the debate (by hammering Obama) could have meant losing the war (by losing the independents he needs to win over), so he made a very wise decision in how he conducted himself in the third debate.

Let the conservatives in media, blogs, and twitter hit Obama hard for his failures and deceptions. That was not Mitt’s objective last night.

ITguy on October 23, 2012 at 9:47 AM

I’m sort of shocked Mitt dominated the President so easily. Obama has been reduced to horse and buggy jokes in place of a solid foreign agenda. I can’t imagine that’s a winning strategy with anyone but dedicated leftists.

Slade73 on October 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

R50 O46 – Rasmussen appears to be headed in Gallup’s direction.

TarheelBen on October 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

I think the biggest takeaway from debate season is how it laid bare Obama’s true personality. Without a teleprompter and an adoring crowd and media, he’s actually kind of a nasty, mean spirited man. His thin skin was front and center, and that’s why his “likeability”, (snort) is plummeting, and Romney’s is on the rise.

BettyRuth on October 23, 2012 at 9:28 AM

I’ll add that people saw Romney for who is really is which basically is a nice guy. Romney is very likable IMO.

gophergirl on October 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Chris Wallace nailed it, Romney appeared as the incumbent, Obama the challenger. And, that’s pretty much how Obama has run his entire campaign, with personal attacks, vitriol, and sniping. He did nothing last night to stint his slide, and may have added to it, particularly with late-deciding women.

TXUS on October 23, 2012 at 9:48 AM

Romney made himself not just acceptable, he is now a desirable alternative. He’s good looking, intelligent, thoughtful, engaging and well versed on the issues. This nation badly needs leadership right now. And just like the vacuums in leadership O has left in Egypt, Libia and soon Syria, he has left a vacuum here at home because of his lack of experience and his lack if desire to even learn to lead!! He’s pathetic and must be dismissed from our WH like the petulant child he is. Buh-bye.

JAM on October 23, 2012 at 9:49 AM

The President clearly was the better debater in the last two of three.

That’s a winning “debate season” in my book.

chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Yup, sure is reflected by that Obama bounce in the polls, eh chimpy?

Oh wait…

ICanSeeNovFromMyHouse on October 23, 2012 at 9:49 AM

Barky’s hug with Mooch was telling also, the look on his face was “Shiite….it’s over.”

Bishop on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

The important question here is: who do you want sitting across from Putin / the Chicoms / Kim Jong Jr. / etc. during tense and important negotiations?

Certainly not Obama. He may be able to lie his butt off in the debates – and be sorely misinformed – and get away with it, but foreign dignitaries are going to see through his smokescreen and know that he is a fool. And that bodes ill for American interests.

Timothy S. Carlson on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Romney up 50-46% in Ras. The momentum continues.

eyedoc on October 23, 2012 at 9:31 AM

Wait until the result of yesterday’s atom bomb are factored in, and Dems are over-sampled by 20. Obama will be up by 6 come Saturday. Game Over. LOL.

/s/ Gumby

milcus on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Nate Silver adjusting Rasmussen’s weight to .38

EddieC on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Clearly he was not taking the bait, not getting into fights with Barack Obama. This official said, “This is all Mitt Romney’s idea. This is how he wants to conduct this debate.”

Sounds plausible. Mitt is a strategic thinker. A candidate can either maintain a presidential demeanor, or he can be combative and snarky. Mitt understood the importance of making the right choice.

AZCoyote on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

November 6th is going to be a fun day!

kingsjester on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

***

I’d never criticize a type (goodness knows I’ve made my fair share) but your post did drive me to Drudge to check it out.

rplat on October 23, 2012 at 9:45 AM

D’oh?

Seriously, when I saw 50% to 56%, I started wondering whether that polling was taking into account Obama’s seven extra states.

BuckeyeSam on October 23, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Alienate VA & CO….Navy and Airforce…Great strategy El Presidente’ Downgrade

workingclass artist on October 23, 2012 at 9:51 AM

Holy cannolis! Check out the update on Rasmussen: R-50, O-46.

IrishEi on October 23, 2012 at 9:52 AM

The President clearly was the better debater in the last two of three.
That’s a winning “debate season” in my book.
chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

The real unmeasurable in this race…how many voters are so dumbed down that they can’t tell truth from fiction.

This election might just come down to this, sadly.

Cleombrotus on October 23, 2012 at 9:52 AM

Obama did indeed throw a lot of one-liners but unfortunately, for him, it was counterproductive for his presidential run . . . although it did put him in good stead for a stand up comedy act.

rplat on October 23, 2012 at 9:52 AM

That Obama stare, that he used all night when Mittens was talking, was kind of lizard-like and very creepy.

Old Fritz on October 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM

“I took that shot”, from the Won after Mitt saying any president would have gone after OBL. Almost like he was there and leading the Seal team. Really? More like hiding in a ditch covering his head with his hands and peeing his pants. Why some people think he won that debate is beyond me. He just regurgitated his stump speeches with a little aircraft carrier humor thrown in. Mitt let it go like it was a drawn out explanation from a juvenile.

Kissmygrits on October 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Well, at least Scooter still has the Honey Boo Boo vote.

kingsjester on October 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM

Wow…. keep on trucking mitt!

cmsinaz on October 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM

I am so proud of Mitt Romney! He’s been a “fixer” all his life…the Olympics, the state of Massachusetts, et al…He sees the big picture of how our country has been wrung out these past four years. He has the gumption and spirit to take on this massive project AND the Chicago Thug Machine…and he’s WINNING. God bless this man mightily!

StarLady on October 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM

romney wins because dems set the narrative so well before the debates, that just showing up would give romney an advantage if he did not made mistakes that reinforced that narrative. so with the debates voters gave a serious look at romney and this helped him. obama first debate failure helped but I think obama has now recovered that first mistake but the romney credibility rise as an alternative wont go away.

what I think is that this last debate, the flip flopping necessary to pander to the right wing, was a severe handicap for romney. in this debate, he paid the political price of his flip flopping.

nathor on October 23, 2012 at 9:54 AM

I’m still not confident Romney will win but I do know for certain that Gumby is a complete idiot.

Isn’t this supposed to be day two of Obama’s “healthy” lead in the RCP average? Still waiting…

levi on October 23, 2012 at 9:54 AM

For the final two weeks, I want to see nothing but the battle scene from the beginning of Gladiator unleashed by Romney and Ryan on Obama and Dems.

“Unleash hell.”

BuckeyeSam on October 23, 2012 at 9:54 AM

Romney extending his lead from +2 to +4 is particularly significant given that two of the three polling days reflected in this tracker were weekend days, which have frequently favored Democrats.

Many have speculated that Gallup’s +6 and +7 showings for Mitt recently were an “outlier” and that Mitt’s numbers on Gallup would retreat back to a more tightened race. Instead, Rasmussen shows Mitt expanding his lead, making the Gallup LV tracker look less like an outlier now.

Romney is winning. He is likely leading in Ohio now, too, and maybe even in a couple of states that aren’t regarded as “swing states.”

Right Mover on October 23, 2012 at 9:55 AM

D’oh?

Seriously, when I saw 50% to 56%, I started wondering whether that polling was taking into account Obama’s seven extra states.

BuckeyeSam on October 23, 2012 at 9:51 AM

touché.

rplat on October 23, 2012 at 9:55 AM

nathor on October 23, 2012 at 9:54 AM

What price? Romney is in a strong position to be the next president…whether you like it or not.

kingsjester on October 23, 2012 at 9:55 AM

Get out and vote!

cmsinaz on October 23, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Clearly, Obama is a poor sportsman. He is like that guy, who after the high school wrestling match (or soccer game) doesn’t want to shake hands and look you in the eye and say, “good match.”

What is with all of this “Obama won the debate” business? Does winning mean that you interrupt more often, are more sarcastic and snarky, ask the moderator for more help, and lie (prime example: attacking Romney’s bankruptcy plan when there is an editorial that shows the opposite.)

I agree with most of what has been said already, Romney was gracious, serious, and the adult in the room. Also, I was initially disappointed that he didn’t go after Obama on Benghazi, but I understand there were too many landmines, too many rumors, and it would not have been productive.

cep on October 23, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Barky’s hug with Mooch was telling also, the look on his face was “Shiite….it’s over.”

Bishop on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Obama was once again the first to leave the stage as well

workingclass artist on October 23, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Kissmygrits on October 23, 2012 at 9:53 AM

That was sad the way Bark said it, made my jaw drop. “Me! I did it! I took that shot! Me! Me!”

Like a teenager who gets the game winning 3 pointer at the buzzer and can’t stop talking about it years later.

Bishop on October 23, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Romney wins focus group in Ohio

CBS

gophergirl on October 23, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Did you see the sadness on Nora and Charlie’s faces? I thought they were going to cry. lol

Flora Duh on October 23, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Romney has been the best surprise many Republicans have had since Reagan. Raise a glass to the Romneybots!
claudius on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

Make mine a nice dry California red.

Basilsbest on October 23, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Flora Duh on October 23, 2012 at 9:56 AM

It is going to be a hoot to watch the MSM gett more and more depressed as Election Day approaches. The production staffs are going to have to clear the news sets of sharp objects that night.

It’s going to be great.

kingsjester on October 23, 2012 at 9:58 AM

Clearly he was not taking the bait, not getting into fights with Barack Obama.

He also didn’t buy into moderator’s “gotcha” question vis a vis “What if Israel calls and says bombers on on the way?” Romney deftly and totally disarmed Schieffer on that one.

SailorMark on October 23, 2012 at 9:59 AM

It is about the economy and Rombo landed a haymaker right near the end when he rattled off the dismal numbers of unemployed, food stampers, etc.; people are going to remember that from the debate since so much of the rest of it was forgettable.

Bishop on October 23, 2012 at 9:44 AM

During the debate, I kept saying to Romney, “Get to the damn economy”, and, in retrospect, he picked just the right time to do so. The late-deciders who were watching are probably among the least interested in foreign policy, so I’m glad he got to the economy and that he appeared “presidential” throughout. If this was his target audience last night, he won the debate big time.

TXUS on October 23, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Romney wins focus group in Ohio

CBS

gophergirl on October 23, 2012 at 9:47 AM

Did you see the sadness on Nora and Charlie’s faces? I thought they were going to cry. lol

Flora Duh on October 23, 2012 at 9:56 AM

Ah, she beat me to it. I was just logging in to mention this. Although someone in video comments mentioned it also. They looked genuinely shocked and dismayed that the people in Ohio said Romney won.

MobileVideoEngineer on October 23, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Romney hit a grand slam in the first debate and changed the race. Obama peppered him with singles in the other two debates but Romney kept the lead.

rockmom on October 23, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Barky’s hug with Mooch was telling also, the look on his face was “Shiite….it’s over.”

Bishop on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

I agree. Obama wears his emotions on his sleeve. His expression told the story of man down in the polls, no momentum, and that he knew Romney closed with a strong debate performance in the face of his & Axelrod’s unsuccessful attempt to disqualify the Gov.

Romney appeared very pleased with himself and in complete ease and control.

RepubChica on October 23, 2012 at 10:01 AM

It is going to be a hoot to watch the MSM gett more and more depressed as Election Day approaches. The production staffs are going to have to clear the news sets of sharp objects that night.

It’s going to be great.

kingsjester on October 23, 2012 at 9:58 AM

It’s also going to be depressing and scary in a way. Did you hear what Tingles had to say last night about why people won’t vote for Bark? Whoa…all I’m saying is that the day after the election is going to be ugly.

Bishop on October 23, 2012 at 10:02 AM

New, overnight Romney ad, re apology tour !

pambi on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

Barack Obama’s Top 10 Apologies: How the President Has Humiliated a Superpower

Nate Silver adjusting Rasmussen’s weight to .38

EddieC on October 23, 2012 at 9:50 AM

@iowahawkblog

“ooh eeh ooh aah aah, ting tang wallawalla bingbang, ooh eeh ooh aah aah, tingtang wallawalla bingbang.” – Nate Silver’s model , +/- 3%

Flora Duh on October 23, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Bishop on October 23, 2012 at 10:02 AM

You’re right. But, Americans will be vigilant.

kingsjester on October 23, 2012 at 10:03 AM

Obama is everything that’s wrong with the Democrat party. He’s smug, self enthused, and knows so much that isn’t so.

Slade73 on October 23, 2012 at 10:03 AM

As pollsters “de-weaponize” their polling in the final weeks and lose the ridiculous D +7 sampling, Romney will continue to surge.

That is the risk of using polling as a weapon. If you don’t kill your opponent early he will surge late as your samples MUST be adjusted for reality.

Just as the fake polling in 1980 did Carter no good, so now has the fake polling this season not done Obama any good. One could argue persuasively that polling is ineffective as a coercive tool.

mitchellvii on October 23, 2012 at 10:04 AM

Romney hit a grand slam in the first debate and changed the race. Obama peppered him with singles in the other two debates but Romney kept the lead.

rockmom on October 23, 2012 at 9:59 AM

Eh, I’d say Romney hit a grand slam in the first debate and then just kept hitting singles and doubles in the rest of the debates and kept scoring runs. Whereas Obama was swinging for the fences and either flying out at the warning track or swinging so hard that he pulled some foul and even if he did hit a homerun or two it was with nobody else on base. So while it was exciting for the home team, Obama was never able to catch up.

MobileVideoEngineer on October 23, 2012 at 10:04 AM

I STILL think Obama is going to find a way to steal the election. If not, when the race riots start he’ll declare martial law & refuse to give up the office!

Vntnrse on October 23, 2012 at 10:05 AM

As has been the case historically, only the first debate matters.

mitchellvii on October 23, 2012 at 10:05 AM

The President clearly was the better debater in the last two of three.

That’s a winning “debate season” in my book.

chumpThreads on October 23, 2012 at 9:26 AM

I agree… President Romney looked much better than his petty opponent!

dominigan on October 23, 2012 at 10:06 AM

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