Polls Show a Strong Debate for Romney

Instant-reaction polls conducted by CNN and CBS News suggest Mitt Romney was the winner of the first presidential debate. A CNN poll of debate-watchers found Mr. Mitt Romney very clearly ahead, with 67% of registered voters saying he won the debate, against just 25% for President Obama. A CBS News poll of undecided voters who watched debate found 46% siding with Romney, 22% for Obama, 32% saying it was a tie. Google, which is experimenting with online surveys, found 38.9% of respondents saying they thought Obama performed better in a poll it conducted during the debate, against 35.5% for Mr. Romney and 25.6% who said it was a draw. But a second poll they conducted after debate found 47.8% of respondents giving Romney advantage, against 25.4% for Obama. There is not a lot of empirical research on relationship between instant reaction polls and their eventual effect on the head-to-head polls. However, these were strong numbers for Mr. Romney where comparisons to past post-debate polls are available. A similar CBS News poll conducted among undecided voters after the first debate in 2008, for example, found that 40% said that Mr. Obama won the debate, against 22% for John McCain. The head-to-head polls moved toward Mr. Obama by about three percentage points after that debate, although some of that may have been from the momentum Mr. Obama had carrying into the evening. The 67% of voters in the CNN poll who said Mr. Romney won Wednesday night’s debate was higher than in any of the network’s surveys of the 2008 debates. By comparison, 51% of debate-watchers in a CNN poll after the first presidential debate in 2008 said that Mr. Obama had the stronger performance. And 58% said so after the third and final presidential debate in 2008. There may be some mitigating factors for Mr. Obama. First, although conventional wisdom was that Mr. Obama had a lackluster performance throughout most of the debate, he certainly had an extremely cautious and defensive strategy, there were few obvious moments in which he said things will make for compelling YouTube clips or cable news soundbites. Second, head-to-head polls throughout the election cycle have been hard to influence for any reason. There are few undecided voters remaining and undecided voters may be less likely than others to have actually watched the debates (…..)

Link: http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/polls-show-a-strong-debate-for-romney/

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16 Responses to Polls Show a Strong Debate for Romney

  1. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: A view of last night debate from a non-partisan Brazilian citizen. Romney gave the best public performance until now. He did connect effectively with the public and TV viewers. Obama did not connect with the voters and appeared detached and aloof. His performance was of a CEO giving a well rehearsed speech without any conviction about it. Obama looked old and tired of being the President of the United States. What about his lovely wedding anniversary words to Michele at the opening debate? nothing wrong, of course. After the lackluster performance during the debate, however, it gave the appearance of a President not taking seriously the worst economic and social crisis in the country’s modern history. Another replay of yesterday’s performance by Obama and Mitt Romney has a good shot to become the next president of the USA.

    http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/10/04/polls-show-a-strong-debate-for-romney/

  2. They sacrifice two years of their lives, spend upwards of $2.5 billion, wrap up thousands of appearances and utter hundreds of thousands of political statements. Sometimes, though, the fate of the candidates for the most powerful office in the world can be distilled into a single moment. That happened in 1992 when George H. W. Bush seem to prefer to stare at his watch rather than take on Bill Clinton in a televised debate. That also proved true in 2000, when Democratic candidate Al Gore sighed arrogantly and loudly every time rival George W. Bush opened his mouth in front of the cameras. And it was also the case at Wednesday night’s debate with Republican candidate Mitt Romney, which showed US President Barack Obama staring at his shoes for all of America to see. Obama seemed to stare repeatedly at the floor when challenger Romney began to give his answers. The world’s most powerful communicator appeared to be oddly speechless on the biggest stage the election campaign has to offer — a debate in front of 50 million TV viewers in the United States and 200 million around the world. Obama came across like a man who would rather have been watching basketball on TV at the White House or even authorizing new drone attacks. “Did the president send out his body double tonight?” wondered Time magazine. In Denver, Obama was something of a Dud President. His weak showing could also have a negative effect on his candidacy. Suddenly, there is a new dynamic to this campaign — because small gestures can have a major impact if they confirm an existing impression among voters. Even his close confidants have described the president as a man who is professorial and condescending — a man not fond of being contradicted. Particularly not now, after four years in the White House during which he has encountered precious few contradictions. For a man with the self-confidence of Obama, it is a situation which can easily lead to a belief that he is the chosen one (…..)

    http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/the-listless-president-how-obama-lost-his-first-debate-a-859495.html

  3. (…..) Mr Obama was also a victim of the expectations game – not that he could have done much about that, given how Mr Romney had been written off in advance after his gaffes and sliding poll ratings. As the former Massachusetts governor showed during the primary campaign, he can be a decent debater. But by Wednesday the assumption was that Mr Obama would deliver a knockout blow. Pre-debate polls showed two thirds of Americans expected the President to win. And that in turn may have bred complacency; that all he needed to do was show up. The President “wanted to have a conversation”, said James Carville, a key operative in Bill Clinton’s winning team in 1992. But “it takes two people to have a conversation. Mitt Romney came in with a chainsaw.” Coming from one of the most ruthless Democratic chain-saw wielders of recent times, that was praise indeed for the Republican. More worryingly perhaps for his supporters, Mr Obama’s limp performance fitted into a pattern. He is prisoner of his reputation as an inspirational orator. In fact, his manner is that of the professor, the careful observer, the lucid synthesizer, driven by logic rather than passion. The danger though is that detachment becomes drift. And it’s happened before during his presidency. On occasions during the health care wars he was oddly passive, allowing a disputatious Congress to dictate events. Just before the Democrats’ mid-term debacle, some party officials privately wondered whether Mr Obama’s stomach was still in the fight, whether he even wanted a second term. But he did – and there’s every reason to expect he’ll fight back now. Anyone who watched him defeat Hillary Clinton in their epic 2008 primary battle (or has seen him play pick-up basketball) knows how competitive he is. Two more debates lie ahead and it would be amazing if Mr Obama passed up so many opportunities to score points. And as John Kerry proved, winning debates is no guarantee of winning election. But the prospect of an Obama walkover is no more. As David Gergen, CNN analyst and veteran of Republican and Democratic White Houses, put it: “We’ve got a horse race.”

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-elections/could-obamas-complacency-cost-him-the-election-8198494.html

  4. The presidential campaign, hitherto a plod through a torrent of words tedious beyond words, began to dance in Denver. There a masterfully prepared Mitt Romney completed a trifecta of tasks and unveiled an issue that, because it illustrates contemporary liberalism’s repellant essence, can constitute his campaign’s closing argument. Barack Obama, knight of the peevish countenance, illustrated William F. Buckley’s axiom that liberals who celebrate tolerance of other views always seem amazed that there are other views. Obama, who is not known as a martyr to the work ethic and who might use a teleprompter when ordering lunch, seemed uncomfortable with a format that allowed fluidity of discourse. His vanity — remember, he gave Queen Elizabeth an iPod whose menu included two of his speeches — perhaps blinds him to the need to prepare. And to the fact that it is not lese-majeste to require him to defend his campaign ads’ dubious assertions with explanations longer than the ads. And to the ample evidence, such as his futile advocacy for Democratic candidates and Obamacare, that his supposed rhetorical gifts are figments of acolytes’ imaginations. Luck is not always the residue of design, and Romney was lucky that the first debate concerned the economy, a subject that to him is a hanging curveball and to Obama is a dancing knuckleball. The topic helped Romney accomplish three things (…..)

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/george-f-will-romneys-trifecta/2012/10/04/8e4fc77a-0e4d-11e2-bb5e-492c0d30bff6_story.html

  5. President Obama and his team woke up here on Thursday morning confronted by the realization that he lost his first debate by passively letting Mitt Romney control the conversation. Then the president and his advisers resolved to do what he himself did not the night before. Under fire from fellow Democrats, Mr. Obama came out swinging, accusing Mr. Romney of lying to the American people about his plans for the nation. “I met this very spirited fellow who claimed to be Mitt Romney,” Mr. Obama told 12,000 supporters during a lakeside rally. “But it couldn’t be Mitt Romney, because the real Mitt Romney has been running around the country for the last year promising $5 trillion in tax cuts that favor the wealthy. The fellow onstage last night said he didn’t know anything about that.” He said the Mr. Romney of the debate wanted to put more teachers in classrooms and claimed not to know companies get tax breaks for outsourcing jobs. “The man onstage last night, he does not want to be held accountable for the real Mitt Romney’s decisions and what he’s been saying for the last year,” the president said. “And that’s because he knows full well that we don’t want what he’s been selling for the last year.” The vigorous assault on Mr. Romney suggested just how worried Mr. Obama’s campaign has become. The president’s advisers concluded that he had lost his first debate by not pressing Mr. Romney enough. After a series of late-night and early-morning consultations, the Obama team decided to try to correct that Thursday with a more aggressive stance, including the rally rhetoric, a new television ad and a conference call questioning Mr. Romney’s truthfulness. David Axelrod, the president’s strategist, called Mr. Romney an “artful dodger” whose debate comments were “devoid of honesty,” “rooted in deception,” “untethered to the truth” and “well delivered but fraudulent.” “Not surprisingly, what we learned is he’ll say anything,” Mr. Axelrod said. “That makes him effective in the short term but vulnerable in the long term.” He added, “He may win the Oscar for his performance last night but he’s not going to win the presidency” (…..)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/us/politics/obama-team-tries-to-change-course-after-debate-disappoints.html

  6. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: WRONG question. Obama Asks, Which Mitt Was That?; RIGHT question. Which Obama Was That?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/us/politics/obama-team-tries-to-change-course-after-debate-disappoints.html

  7. “No. 1,” declared Mitt Romney in Wednesday’s debate, “pre-existing conditions are covered under my plan.” No, they aren’t — as Mr. Romney’s own advisers have conceded in the past, and did again after the debate. Was Mr. Romney lying? Well, either that or he was making what amounts to a sick joke. Either way, his attempt to deceive voters on this issue was the biggest of many misleading and/or dishonest claims he made over the course of that hour and a half. Yes, President Obama did a notably bad job of responding. But I’ll leave the theater criticism to others and talk instead about the issue that should be at the heart of this election. So, about that sick joke: What Mr. Romney actually proposes is that Americans with pre-existing conditions who already have health coverage be allowed to keep that coverage even if they lose their job — as long as they keep paying the premiums. As it happens, this is already the law of the land. But it’s not what anyone in real life means by having a health plan that covers pre-existing conditions, because it applies only to those who manage to land a job with health insurance in the first place (and are able to maintain their payments despite losing that job). Did I mention that the number of jobs that come with health insurance has been steadily declining over the past decade? What Mr. Romney did in the debate, in other words, was, at best, to play a word game with voters, pretending to offer something substantive for the uninsured while actually offering nothing. For all practical purposes, he simply lied about what his policy proposals would do. How many Americans would be left out in the cold under Mr. Romney’s plan? (…..)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/opinion/krugman-romneys-sick-joke.html

  8. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: Ex post the presidential debate –watched by 70 millions of voters– it is too late to say what Obama should have said about health care or the economy. The damage has already been done to his chances of reelection. It remains to be seen whether he can recover from this blow in the next few weeks. What matters is that Romney delivered his message effectively to voters while Obama did not. As prof PK put it in this piece “for whatever reason, the president didn’t do that, on health care or on anything else.” The bad news to the Obama camp is that health care and the economy/jobs — the only issue that really matters to voters — was one shot opportunity to be debated.


    Foreign policy, the next presidential debate is an oxymoron. Obama and Romney will be fighting to show who is Israel’s best friend and whether or not to strike Iran’s nuclear facilities. Since Vietnam, American voters don’t have much to say about decisions to wage wars.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/opinion/krugman-romneys-sick-joke.html

  9. MoCrash: “The damage has already been done to his chances of reelection.” A curious observation considering that President Obama is leading in the polls, especially in swing states where the electoral college numbers will be decided. So far, there’s no evidence that Mr. Romney’s debate performance has substantively altered that advantage, and historically that seldom happens (think Bush-Kerry 2004).

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/opinion/krugman-romneys-sick-joke.html

  10. Doris: So you are saying that people would love to have a liar in chef in the White House? What will his right wing supporters say now that he has changed his position so many times now? If Romney is elected, Will we even know which Romney will come out day to day? How manic is Romney anyway, and how will he possible negotiate with any foreign leader except Israel?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/opinion/krugman-romneys-sick-joke.html

  11. From Mexico City: Good comments, and true, I watched it and Obama was awful. As usual, Democrats are truthful but lack a penchant for defending themselves and be more aggressive. However, that being said, I don’t think his performance will do great damage. First, because it is traditional (well, in the last 6 debates when an incumbent has debated) that the challenger wins the first debate (5 out of 6 since 1980, Clinton being the only exception). There are still 2 more to go. Second, that Romney guy is such a liar regarding his “plan” to make things better. He cannot, in the end, fool the American people. He changes position more than he changes the off-shore banks where he hides his millions. This guy will say ANYTHING to become president. Will the REAL Romney please stand up?🙂

  12. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: Do NOT overestimate Americans. After all, they are the only people on the planet earth that can be convinced to vote against their own interest.

  13. Mitt Romney walked off the debate stage on Wednesday night to find that his staff had already lined the hall backstage, greeting him with applause. Facing off against President Obama in Denver, Mr. Romney had been the candidate they had longed to see all year: funny (joking about the “romantic” evening he and Mr. Obama were spending on the president’s 20th wedding anniversary), commanding (challenging Mr. Obama on taxes and government spending) and even warm (placing his right hand over his heart at the end of the debate, in an homage to his supporters in the crowd). On Friday night, at a rally here, his campaign seemed determined not to let that more emotive, three-dimensional Mitt Romney slip away. Before the crowd of several thousand, Mr. Romney shared stories of friends who had died. Perhaps his most moving anecdote — about David Oparowski, a 14-year-old boy with leukemia to whom Mr. Romney had ministered — first made an appearance at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, when David’s parents talked about how Mr. Romney had tended to their son, a member of his church ward in Belmont, Mass. But Mr. Romney had never before mentioned the experience on the stump (…..)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/us/politics/mitt-romney-after-debate-success-shows-softer-side.html

  14. Professor Uziel Nogueira says: A view from a a non partisan Brazilian from sunny Florianoplis, the Island of Magic. Mitt Romney’s performance in the first debate was a major break in his campaign plagued by gaffes, particularly his derogatory comments on the 47% of the electorate. This allowed him to move to the center, without the danger of alienating the GOP’s radical wing. The GOP extreme right will vote for the Devil in order to defeat Obama. The political momentum favors Romney while good jobs data favors Obama. The incumbent pres has a chance to mount a strong counter attack and change public perception. However, Obama has lost the opportunity to clinch his reelection after the first debate. The election is up for grabs and could end in the same way as Bush versus Gore.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/07/us/politics/mitt-romney-after-debate-success-shows-softer-side.html

  15. The tale of Asimco Technologies, an auto parts manufacturer whose plants dot eastern China, would seem to underscore Mitt Romney’s campaign-trail complaint that China’s manufacturing juggernaut is costing America jobs. Nine years ago, the company bought two camshaft factories that employed about 500 people in Michigan. By 2007 both were shut down. Now Asimco manufactures the same components in China on government-donated land in a coastal region that China has designated an export base, where companies are eligible for the sort of subsidies Mr. Romney says create an unfair trade imbalance. But there is a twist to the Asimco story that would not fit neatly into a Romney stump speech: Since 2010, it has been owned by Bain Capital, the private equity firm founded by Mr. Romney, who has as much as $2.25 million invested in three Bain funds with large stakes in Asimco and at least seven other Chinese businesses, according to his 2012 candidate financial disclosure and other documents. That and other China-related holdings by Bain funds in which Mr. Romney has invested are a reminder of how he inhabits two worlds that at times have come into conflict during his campaign for the White House. As a candidate, Mr. Romney uses China as a punching bag. He accuses Beijing of unfairly subsidizing Chinese exports, artificially holding down the value of its currency to keep exports cheap, stealing American technology and hacking into corporate and government computers. “How is it China’s been so successful in taking away our jobs?” he asked recently. “Well, let me tell you how: by cheating.” But his private equity dealings, both while he headed Bain and since, complicate that message (…..)

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/us/politics/as-romney-repeats-trade-message-bain-maintains-china-ties.html

  16. (NYT GOLDEN PICK) Professor Uziel Nogueira says:


    Mitt Romney is a true believer in the free market capitalism ideology. Romney practices the old US adage: All politics is local and business is international. His former equity company making tons of money in China is totally consistent with prevalent economic ideology and political practice. Romney will not lose a single vote because of Bain Capital investments in China.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/us/politics/as-romney-repeats-trade-message-bain-maintains-china-ties.html

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