October 23, 2012
CNN poll says Obama won the debate last night, 48-40.
I was a little disappointed that Romney didn’t criticize Obama more and more directly, but I think it’s clear that Romney decided on a strategy of looking “presidential”. No doubt President Obama won if the criterion is number of jokes and one-liners, but Romney won if the criterion is substantive arguments and telling the truth.
Mark Steyn points out that even Obama’s jokes were wrong.
I thought the most breathtaking claim Obama made last night was his repeated assertion that he has been a friend to Israel. With “friends” like this—well, there may not be an Israel much longer.
Romney still made his fair share of pointed criticisms, pointing out that the Obama administration has projected weakness and hurt the economy, among other things. Economically, we’re moving in the wrong direction: The U. S. economy is currently growing at a rate of 1.3% per year, slower than last year (1.7% in 2011), which was slower than the year before that (3.0% in 2010). The unemployment rate is “only” 7.8 percent partly because so many people have given up on looking for work; “if the same share of people were participating in the work force today as on the day the president got elected, our unemployment rate would be around 11 percent,” as even the New York Times admits.
Mark Levin said something on his radio show last night, before the debate (around the end of his second hour). He said that conservatives might be tempted to nitpick about Romney’s performance—say, that he didn’t hit hard enough, or that he didn’t make some particular point that someone would have liked to hear. Levin said, in effect, don’t worry about it; the debate isn’t going to make or break Romney. Now let’s get back to work.
Previous entries about the debates:
- “Romney 1, Obama 0”
- “Postscript to the Debate: Odds and Ends”
- “Gallup: Romney Won Debate 72-20”
- “Ryan Won the Debate”
- “Second Presidential Debate: Who Won?”
Half of those questioned say that the debate did not affect how they would vote, with 25% saying they are more likely to vote for Romney and 24% saying they are more likely to cast a ballot for Obama.
When all is said and done, an 8 percent victory in the debate for Obama actually translates to a 1 percent net gain for Romney.
. . .
It’s obviously too early to tell what impact tonight’s debate will have on the polls in the coming days, but the initial reaction feels very similar to the second debate: While Obama may have walked away a slight overall winner, Romney appears to be quietly scoring wins on the issues among independents. And come November 6, that’s the only thing that will matter.