Debate two is in the books, and while the result is no where near as convincing as Romney’s drubbing of the President in the first debate, it is clear that Barack Obama had a much better performance this time, while Mitt Romney took a small step or two back. Overall, last night’s debate was a slug fest, with both sides vacillating between attack and defense.

Obama was clearly more focused, energized and prepared for this match, and he managed a few zingers on his opponent. Romney missed out on some chances to hit Obama, especially early on. He did score some points on Benghazi, but committed a bit of a gaffe with his “binders of women” statement. Both battled, sometimes bitterly, over oil production on federal lands, over auto company bailouts, and over Romney’s wealth. Regardless of the topic, it has become very apparent that these two do not like each other, and some of the descriptions characterized the debate as “nauseating” and as the “most rancorous Presidential debate ever.”

Polls are giving Obama a slim victory, and while both candidates swung hard, no significant blows were landed.

Comments

  • Alaina

    First, can we all agree that Obama “doing much better” than the last debate isn’t much of a feat?
    Second, the edge Obama had in the snap shot polls was neglible and the focus groups I watch were either swayed to Romney (huge sway in the Luntz focus group) or at worst it was a dead even tie (the MSNBC has one person go to Romney, the other go to Obama and the rest remained undecided).
    This debate will have virtually no impact on the polls. The only thing that will really come to this is possibly that the media will be forced to focus on Libya for the next couple of days, which will not be a good thing for Obama, particularly leading into a foreign policy debate.

  • Raúl Ramírez

    That debate was a joke. Crowley clearly was pushing the liberal agenda. She interrupted Romney 28 times and Obama a measly 9 times.

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Journalism/2012/10/17/Crowley-interrupts-28-times-Romney

  • https://twitter.com/#!/PD_Scott Scott A. Robinson, Editor

    Did you hear the clapping from the audience during the debate when Candy Crowley attempted to “correct” Mitt Romney (though later Crowley admitted she was wrong)? This was, of course, against the rules. And who broke the rules? Well, video evidence shows it was the first lady herself.

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/video/2012/10/17/michelle_obama_broke_agreed_upon_rules_clapped_at_debate.html

  • https://twitter.com/#!/PD_Scott Scott A. Robinson, Editor
    • Poppie

      The feds should track everyone of these goofballs and prosecute them for threats to a presidential candidate!!!

  • Anonymous

    Yes, Obama was better because there’s only one way up from comatose. He was styling well at times also. Mitt had a few good points, but also missed a moment when he muffed the Libya comments near the end. Overall, Obama eeks out a narrow win on some point system, but Romney did nothing to self-inflict a wound upon his own momentum, and frankly, he butchered Obama in some of the specific areas like the economy, taxes, and energy.
    I can’t see this being a game changer in the polls, and it frankly will be challenging more for Obama because the next debate is all about Libya & foreign policy – so nothing on women’s rights, contraception, etc. While Mitt muffed it last night, you know they’re going to get the attack lines right for next Monday. If he scores big on Libya, then its game over for O. If O can weasel out an effective defense, then it’s neck and neck to the end.

    • Steve M.

      I don’t see it as a “game changer” on polls either. However, I think the results will roll back some of the points Romney gained in the first debate. I don’t think Obama will gain any points relative to the polls two weeks ago, but he’ll get back to where he was before the first debate.

      • Anonymous

        Well, to go back to the pre-debate debacle would wipe out ALL of Mitt’s gains since then. Don’t see that happening either. If Mitt was up 4 pre-debate 2, he might drop to up 1-2 as a fallout. Nothing more than that – unless they’re skewing +9 for Dems on the polls again.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/PD_Scott Scott A. Robinson, Editor

    There is an interesting mismatch in our political system that the debates always exaggerate. The skill set to get elected is mostly about being an exceptional public speaker, a great communicator, and likeable. However, this has very little to do with the skill set of being a successful President which includes exceptional leadership, guidance, and the ability to balance short-term interests with long-term interests.

    • David Kaiser, Editor

      It is and it isn’t. I equate it to a job interview. Despite attempts for people to look solely at qualifications, if an affable, articulate person interviews for a job against someone who doesn’t quite measure up in terms of likability, it is not always the most qualified that get the job.

      • Alaina

        Being able to articulate your tax policy to an average American is very different from being able to articulate your tax policy to a CPA.
        When I interview someone for a job, we can get down into the weeds and understand eachother. You can’t do that with the American people on average.