Obama edged Romney in the debate, but does it really matter?

Like last week, I think the Democrats scored a narrow win in the latest debate. Joe Biden was feistier than Paul Ryan last week and President Barack Obama was energetic and passionate last night, although Mitt Romney was again very strong. A CNN snap poll shows a narrow Obama edge. But I wonder, does it matter anymore?

I think voters’ attitudes, many of which were affected by the first debate, have hardened since. The aggressive Obama, as well as the aggressive and boorish Biden, are not moving voters back. At best they are re-energizing some Democrats who were demoralized after the Oct. 3 presidential debate.

Many of my liberal friends will completely ignore this Frank Luntz focus group from last night. It possesses the sin of coming from Fox News, but it shows that a majority of former Obama supporters, now undecided, were more impressed with Romney after the debate.

We’ll know by Friday if Obama gained any advantage from the second debate. In my opinion, what may dominate the news cycle is a gaffe on Libya made by debate moderator, Candy Crowley, which she more or less fessed up to afterwards. The next debate is Monday. Expect another close, energetic, contentious encounter with a lot more about Libya, given that the topic is foreign affairs.

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29 Responses to Obama edged Romney in the debate, but does it really matter?

  1. rls says:

    doug — i agree on the “re-energizing” aspect — obama’s performance may or may not win over undecideds, but it will give previously disheartened obama supporters more reason to get excited and that translates into more obama supporters actually getting out to the polls rather than staying home and giving up –

  2. Erick says:

    Perhaps I’m just becoming too cynical, but I don’t think there is any real valid criteria offered in these debates that help voters make better decisions. I would almost compare these debates to job interviews. In most cases, the interviewer (or the voter), has already decided whether the person will be hired or not, based on initial impressions. After that, they spend the remainder of the interview just trying to validate their initial decision.

    I seriously can’t find much information in these debates that helps me make the best decision.

    • Doug Gibson says:

      Erik, I think the debates do present the candidates by themselves, forced to present their case without a sycophantic crowd or props. The three debates so far have demonstrated distinct priorities and policy differences within the candidates. I do, however, dislike the “gotcha” game that is often attempted. I also wish that the moderator at any debate was far less influential. I don’t see bias, just interference.

      • Erick says:

        Respectfully Doug, I don’t think the debates actually do any of those things. They provide a forum where the candidates can argue with each other, and ultimately present an image. In all cases there is a sycophantic crowd, even with the “undecided’s”, and each candidate knows what demographic they must go after and to best use sycophancy to do it.

        Even though there are some distinctions on policy views, the problem is that the debates give us very little to work with, in terms of analyzing those differences in a useful way.

        • Doug Gibson says:

          We could get rid of the moderator, the crowd and have them discuss issues for 90 minutes.

          • Midwinter says:

            I’d rather we had the BBC’s John Humphries or Jim Naughtie moderate and actually make people answer the frakking questions.

          • Decider says:

            “We could get rid of the moderator . . . ”
            Doug, who exactly is this “We” that is going to get rid of the moderator and “force” the President of The United States to debate in a way that YOU would prefer?
            Perhaps “we” need to walk back a few of “our” disengenuous, over-the-top, absurdities?

  3. The duo of Romney and Ryan would drive the entire economy into a nose dive as long as it benefits the richest Americans. Income inequality is endangering the Middle Class and making paupers of us all who don’t have those millions upon millions of dollars. Read more about the role of Romney’s riches in this election and the power of his sacred undergarments at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2012/05/mitt-romneys-magic-mormon-underwear.html The working class of our country can’t AFFORD to allow this election to be bought and sold!

    • hawg says:

      “Income inequality is endangering the Middle Class”

      and short people? what about them? we should lower all basketball nets.
      some people can run the 100 in under ten, the vast majority of us cannot? how unfair is that? records are discriminatory.
      some people become surgeons, most cannot. we should make it a law to give so many people with degrees a scalpel and so many high school drops an equal quantity of scalpels. re-distribute EVERYTHING.

      but you are close to the truth in your last statement. the working class cannot afford what obama has done for them to continue. and you watch come november. THEY know it.

  4. Brent Glines says:

    Cross posted from Doug’s Facebook page:

    Well, people keep saying Obama edged out Romney, but I’m having a hard time seeing how. Today, all the news programs are talking about how Romney was actually right on Libya, and how he dominated on the economy, and how the Lunz group went for Romney in a big way, and how he won independents, and about how the moderator screwed the pooch on her job of moderating. What did Obama win? Miss Congeniality? You’d think they’d be talking about the stuff that helped Obama rather than all the things that went well for Romney.

    I think the bigotry of low expectations is at work here. Obama didn’t fall on his face, so of course, that means he won. A few more ‘wins’ like this, and Obama can start packing his bags.

  5. Steve Stones says:

    Your nervousness is showing a bit Doug. If Obama wins, we can send Brent Glines packing for good, since he always wants to be right in his views whenever he comments here or on facebook. It is obvious that he has too much time on his hands. A person who has something to hide always uses a computer game character or a comic book character as their profile picture.

    • Doug says:

      Steve, as a middle class family, we have benefited from the stimulus, etc. My main concern is the long-term viability of entitlements, as well as the methods that will be taken to keep these programs running. I don’t think the Democrats want to seriously address those issues, and that concerns me.

    • Brent Glines says:

      Ad hominem is such an effective argument. If you have nothing better than that, just give up.

      • Decider says:

        It is OUTRAGEOUS that Stones would use ad hominem insults against Glines’/Gibson to challenge THEIR ad hominem insults against Obama. (previous to last post by Glines)
        Ad hominem is a logical fallacy among hundreds/thousands of OTHER logical fallacies — Glines is as proficient in his USE of ad hominem as he is proficient in complaining about it when ad hominem is USED against him — his typical hypocritical modus.
        At least give a few OTHER fallacies some work — begging the question, false cause, and false analogy, are just some that Glines needs to give A LOT of personal attention.

  6. Neal Cassidy says:

    I am confused by something Roney said at the end of the debate. Mr. Romney said “I served as a pastor in my congregation for about 10 years”. When did the LDS begin calling their branches, wards, stakes, etc congregations? When did they begin to call their local leaders pastors? Was this a attempt to use words and phrases that would appeal to the evangicals? If Romney was a LDS bishop for 10 years why is he suddenly referring to that time as him being a pastor?

    • Doug says:

      I have heard Romney use the term pastor often in this campaign. My guess is he understands that the term is easier to grasp for most people. Also, the distinct difference of a bishop in the Catholic Church might be confusing.

      • Decider says:

        It is corrupt and dishonest for Catholic Church “Bishops” to EXPLOIT identity “confusion” with the greater, centuries old, spirituality and credibility of the LDS “Bishops”. . . .
        No, wait . . . nevermind . . . .

    • Midwinter says:

      Those terms—”ward” and “bishop”—get associated with Catholicism for lots of Southern evangelicals, who, outside of Louisiana, tend not to like Catholics all that much and like Mormons even less. (See: all those Southern primaries in which they nominated TWO CATHOLICS over a Mormon.)

      The “pastor” thing is designed to reassure the Southern base that Romney and Mormons aren’t really any different than them.

      I’m still waiting to hear from my Mississippi relatives about whisper campaigns about LDS theology. I’m honestly astonished that I haven’t yet.

  7. Heidi says:

    What does it matter what religion either of them are. We need to focus on their integrity and Leadership qualities. Are they capable of changing the economy for the good and benefit for all Americans.

  8. Steve Stones says:

    Brent Glines, I’m not debating you on this topic. I just think you have too much time on your hands to be arguing with people all day, and I also think you have something to hide by using a video game character as a profile picture. You can conveniently say I’m using an “Ad Hominem” argument, but I’m not debating you on the above topic. I just think you need to get a life outside of commenting on these posts all day, or do you spend your entire day playing video games too? It must be nice to have so much time to impose your redneck, right-wing politics onto everyone else all day. Get a life!!!

    • hawg says:

      geez steve, what are you? a stalker?

      maybe you ought to worry more about how you spend your time.
      maybe you could manage YOUR time better by not reading and responding to brents posts if they upset you so bad.

    • Brent Glines says:

      My time is my own concern.

      Sunshine go away today
      I don’t feel much like dancing
      Some man’s gone, he’s tried to run my life
      Don’t know what he’s asking”

      (Chorus)
      “How much does it cost, I’ll buy it
      The time is all we’ve lost, I’ll try it
      But he can’t even run his own life
      I’ll be damned if he’ll run mine, Sunshine”

      • Annie says:

        Brent, you made my day posting those lyrics! That was actually my theme song when I divorced my second husband! Thanks for post!

      • Decider says:

        FYI, these lyrics are a great example of the logical fallacy of non sequitur.
        No need to thank me.
        Many of “us” here like to see you more edified in an understanding of logic

  9. Brent Glines says:

    You’re welcome!

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