The first presidential debate was last week and it was interesting to say the least. If you haven’t made up your mind about which candidate to vote for, these debates are designed to sway you to either side of the fence.
If you missed the debate you didn’t miss much. The most notable takeaways were Mitt Romney wanting to cut funding to PBS and the fact that President Obama forgot he was in a debate. Obama looked distracted and downright bored to be on stage — Romney took full advantage of that.
Leading up to the debate Romney kept saying things that didn’t help his standing with voters — the 47 percent comment — and it looked as if Obama was going to come out on top. After last week things might change, even though debates don’t really mean that much because by the time debate season rolls around most voters know who they are voting for.
Both candidates know this and Romney showed that he is still trying to scrape as many votes from the bottom of the barrel as he can.
Political reporter Matt Bai of The New York Times said in an article, “Mitt Romney seemed eager to make his case, exhibiting some amount of apparent desperation, like the teenage suitor who has 10 minutes to convince his girlfriend’s father to bless the marriage. That desire to be understood counts for something.”
It does but then again Romney has been desperately trying to get voters to understand him since he emerged from the primaries as the obvious Republican candidate.
Romney had to put on a show for the people in the audience and those who were watching at home. He ultimately did. He told stories of speaking to voters, his business experience and kept Obama on the defensive for most of the hour and half event.
One of the few comments the president made was a straight jab to Romney, “Now, five weeks before the election, he’s saying that his big, bold idea is ‘never mind.’”
Even though debates usually don’t matter too much in an election, this first presidential debate has given Romney a bounce in the polls. A Gallup poll conducted between Oct. 2-8 has the former governor leading Obama by two points among likely voters — 49 percent to 47 percent.
Does this mean that Obama supporters should be worried? No. There are two more debates between him and Romney so anything could happen. The election was going to be close either way, these debates are just playing a bigger role than originally thought.
There were people beginning to doubt if Romney was the guy to take down Obama. Even after the Republican convention he didn’t come off as a strong candidate because he was still introducing himself to the country. He was behind in polls leading up to the debate and it appeared as if the Romney campaign was deflated.
“Romney’s only real goal was to make sure that no one walked away from the first debate saying it was over, and no one did,” Bai said in an article.
The fire is back in the Romney campaign and the election has become even closer than before. There are now 26 days left before Election Day, so much could happen until then. The momentum has temporarily shifted, for good or ill.