Wednesday, October 17, 2012

2nd Presidential Debate A Virtual Tie

The second historic 2012 Presidential Debate is now in the hands of history and the fact checkers. The CNN scientific poll of registered voters who actually watched the debate gave a slim margin of victory to President Obama, which comes as no surprise to most after his stunning deadpan performance in the first debate a few weeks ago. And, while this slight win will likely slow down the loss of the enthusiasm factor that had begun after that first debate the President did little to help his campaign overall. Why? Because his speaking ability and generally successful pontificating doesn't have the same effect on people now that he has an actual dismal four year record he cannot defend.

There is another serious problem for the President. Although CNN's poll gave the President a scant win, most other polls showed the debate a virtual tie between the candidates or a slight win for Romney. The CBS News poll was also basically a tie which really doesn't help Obama after the trouncing he received the first go around. But, that isn't the real problem for the President. When those polled were asked specific questions, especially those related to the number one concerns for the American voter, the economy, healthcare and taxes, Mr. Romney beat out the President by very large margins. Romney scored in the upper 40% and lower 50% on everyone of those crucial issues while Obama remained in the lower to upper 30% range. Based on those numbers alone if voters check off their ballots on November 6 with the economy the number one agenda on their minds Mitt Romney will be the next President of the United States of America.

The second problem for the President was his outright lying during this debate, something the media and fact checkers will be talking about, questioning and arguing over for the next week until the third and final debate which takes place on October 22. The President's two biggest lies dealt with the events surrounding the killing of our American Ambassador and three other Americans in Libya and the other had to do with his actions as President in curtailing permits for drilling on land and off shore for oil and natural gas. What damages him the most on these two issues is just how easily they can be fact checked. It will not require a lot of digging in dungy old records to discover how far he strayed from the truth on these two important issues. Even Candy Crowley, the moderator of the debate, after inappropriately defending the President in his lie about him stating the day after the Benghazi attacks that he called them an act of terror, later that evening after the debate when CNN's own fact checkers corrected her, admitted that she spoke out of turn and the President was wrong while Mitt Romney was absolutely correct in his statement about what really took place. All I can say on that matter to Ms. Crowley is better late than never.

Exactly what kind of impact will this debate have on the current stats? Probably very little. Obama did continue Vice President Biden's shoring up his base but really didn't do much to get any more independent or undecided voters on his side. Mr. Romney really didn't do anything to hurt himself but he also didn't gain much either with this performance. And, if you believe a few of the focus groups that each network had on hand Romney may have picked up a few, but not many, of the undecideds due to his reiteration of Obama's failed economic policies and the few more specifics about his 5-Point Plan to fix the mess created by Obama and the Washington establishment.

So, it's off to the next and last debate next Monday which will deal almost entirely on foreign policy. Many conservatives were kind of blasting Romney for not jumping all over the President in this second debate and for not hammering Obama about what did and didn't take place in Benghazi last month. However, I think Mr. Romney will more that adequately get his chance to do this on October 22nd and it will be in a setting far more appropriate and conducive for driving the point home of just how much of a failure Mr. Obama's foreign policies have been and just how much he has weakened this country in the eyes of both our allies and enemies across the globe.

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