Skip to comments.Rasmussen: Obama May Need a Reagan Comeback
Posted on 10/06/2012 2:43:10 PM PDT by presidio9
The first presidential debate of 2012 is now behind us. The reviews suggest that many were surprised at how well Mitt Romney did and how weakly President Obama performed.
The Instant Polls conducted by CBS and CNN showed Romney as the big winner. In fact, CNN found that Romney emerged with the largest advantage from any debate since they began the instant debate poll three decades ago.
This leads to two questions. The first is: How much of a difference will it make?
As I noted last week, debates rarely have a major impact on a campaign, but a small shift could be decisive in a race as close as this one. Roughly 5 percent of all voters are still uncommitted to either candidate. Another 10 percent indicate they could change their minds. That's more than enough to change the race from a slight Obama advantage to a slight Romney edge.
That's especially true when the first debate focused on the key issue of Election 2012 -- the U.S. economy. Coming into the debate, 43 percent of voters gave the president good or excellent marks for handling the economy, while 46 percent said he had done a poor job. Those aren't great numbers, but the trend has been very good to Obama. The 43 percent who say he's doing a good job is up 2 points from a week ago, 8 points from a month ago and 13 points from a year ago.
Romney's comments in the debate were designed to have people rethink that assessment and reverse the trend. He said that the status quo "is not going to cut it" and talked of the need to find a "new path." He added that "under the president's policies, middle-income Americans have been buried. They're just being crushed. Middle-income Americans have seen their income come down by $4,300. This is a tax in and of itself. I'll call it the economy tax. It's been crushing."
Obama seemed less interested in defending his track record, telling the national audience, "The question here tonight is not where we've been but where we're going."
It will take a week or so to really see what impact all of this has on the polls.
But it also leads to a second question. How will the president perform in the second debate? Incumbent presidents often struggle in the first debate and do better in the second. Ronald Reagan may be the greatest example of this.
After a very poor performance in the first debate of 1984, many wondered whether Reagan's age had caught up with him. Walter Mondale and his team thought they had a chance. But the veteran performer turned it all around at the beginning of the second debate by pledging not to make his "opponent's youth and inexperience an issue" in the campaign. Even Mondale laughed, although he had to know his chances of winning the election disappeared at that moment.
Does Obama have a comeback like that in him? We'll find out on Oct. 16.
Until then, all we can say for sure is that Romney had a good first debate and the next four weeks should be a lot more interesting on the campaign trail.
“The question here tonight is not where we’ve been but where we’re going.”
Pretty much the go-to response when you have just lead people through a sewage dump.
All the difference in the world. Voters were hoping to have someone besides Bobo to vote for. It was more than a turn-around.
He can’t come back. Not on his wit or cleverness. Not on his understanding of economics and the real world. Not on the knowledge he never bothered to learn in school. Not on his devotion to the Constitution.
The guy is just inferior and out of his league, and he knows it. That adds to the pressure in the next debates. He knows he can’t knock down Romney. He knows he can’t even lay a glove on him.
It wouldn’t surprise me if Obama cancels the next two debates claiming that he can’t debate a guy that just lies all the time.
Unless Obama were willing to have a complete moral compass realignment, it ain't gonna happen.
Can you imagine what that debate must have done to Bobo's self-confidence? It's like a boxer who has risen to the top on the basis of bouts he didn't know were fixed all of a sudden going against a skilled professional. And he is facing the same opponent in two more fights!!!
I stand corrected...
The general who wins the battle makes many calculations in his temple before the battle is fought. The general who loses makes but few calculations beforehand.
Bear in mind that Obama was President of the Harvard Law Review, and is generally considered a strong debater. He should do well in the town hall format. The story I take away from Wednesday night is that people would have been writing not just Romney’s bot the GOP’s obituaries had he stumbled. Instead, he is in a stronger position, but he needs to get better. If the next debate is a tie, the media will declare Obama “The NEW Comeback Kid,” the polls will shift back to “Obama slightly ahead,” and Romney will need a Hail Mary in the final debate.
Additionally, the way unemployment numbers are now compiled means that (do to seasonal hiring) the rate will again fall in October, and Obama will have a head of steam the week before election day.
Finally, even Rasmussen is effectively conceeding that Ohio is a toss-up, and that is really the only vote that counts in this election.
This is the first time Obamatons saw their messiah was human and actually could bleed. That’s not reversible.
It was all smoke. He was awarded the presidency of the Harvard Law Review based upon melanin. He accomplished nothing there. His record as President stands by itself as an indictment against him. He has never before gone against an aggressive, skilled debater. He is the AZ Cardinals offensive line of debaters.
Thank you. I agree completely!
I don't mean to be slow, but doesn't a "Reagan Comeback" require a Reagan?
That is correct. The debate was not a turn-around. It was a tipping point.
Obama went up against something entirely foreign to him, a skilled, PREPARED debater who was not afraid to take the battle to him. When in his life has anyone NOT shown deference to him(remember McCain?) For him to learn how to combat Romney would be like training a right-handed batter to bat left. It's not something you can learn in a week. You can't cram for the presidency at the last minute.
Time has run out for that jug-eared phoney.
I'm starting to think the only reason they are saying it's close so we keep watching. Hussein screwed the pooch, but good. In front of some 70 Million viewers, no less. Does anyone believe the next debates will have 2/3's that many viewers?
I agree. Unless Romney has a major stumble, this election is going our way. The emperor has no clothes, and all could see on Wednesday night. He likely will do better next time, but I have to assume Romney will be just as prepared and just as sharp, and it will be a reminder of his performance this week. Obama will likely land some nice punches since it will be all on the line next time.
Before then, voters will also see Romney’s stellar vp selection, and another contrast will be drawn. A superstar vs a hack has-been. Who made the better vp choice? It will further cement Romney’s leadership.
Wishful thinking on your part. His skin color may have helped him get into the school. The Law Review is a cutthroat business. I am paraphrasing an earlier point by Laura Ingraham.
He has never before gone against an aggressive, skilled debater. He is the AZ Cardinals offensive line of debaters.
Do you mean "other than Hillary Clinton & John Edwards?" The measure of a debater's skill is not whether you (an admittedly biased conservative) agree with them. It is whether they can sway public opinion. Obama may be out of practice, he may have the facts against him here, but he is still a VERY effective public speaker. And we certainly have not heard the last of him.
To play along with your football reference, you are starting to sound a bit like the New England Patriots before last year's Super Bowl.
I can relate to that through my own life experience. When I was a boy around 12 years old, I used to play baseball with other kids on my street, most of them two or three years younger than me. I quickly became the star of my neighborhood "sandlot" team. Every time I came to bat, the outfielders would respectfully back up to the fence of the tiny field we played on and they would try to pitch around me.
It didn't take long for my little 12-year-old head to swell up and I thought I was the second coming of Babe Ruth.
The following spring, I went to Little League tryouts and when I came to bat, the pitcher whizzed the ball right by me. Before I even started swinging, the ball was already popping into the catchers glove. I had never seen a fastball before!. I took about 15 pitches and I think I foul tipped one of them before the coaches told me to move on and brought the next kid up. Needless to say, I never got called back and those were the days where you either made the team or you sat home.
It was a humiliating experience but I realized that having 9 and 10 year old neighborhood kids lobbing balls at me did not compare to a 13 year old Little Leaguer with a decent fastball.
I guess this is a lesson that Obama had to learn late in life.
He is a teleprompter reader.
Scott, are you kidding me? Obama could never resemble Reagan in any way. It is hopeless for the nasty little gay communist. LOL
Again, he will do just fine in the townhall format, where the primary objective is to feel the questioner's pain.
That being said, I have a feeling that Mittens will do surprisingly well there too. I can't think of another Republican who has bought into the whole "Compasionate Conservatism" thing harder.
Would you want to be the one to tell him he isn't as good as he thinks? Look at his excuse making. HE BELIEVES HIS OWN PR.
He is busy memorizing some zingers while his toadies in and out of the media are publicly leaning on the moderators to fight for him. Look for the questions to be liberal talking point accusations and for the moderators to get into arguments with the pub debaters with the goal of either steering the debate to Bobo's advantage or making the pubs look petty.
I am laughing so hard at the panic on the left. Most of us have known the empty high chair was a fraud from day 1.
That was Bubba's special skill. Bobo will ramble on through many different subject areas until the audience is asleep. The danger to the pubs is not Bobo. The dangers to the pubs are Democrat plants in the audience and Democrat moderators.
I understand that. You understand that. The story that filters down to Johnny Lunchbucket is that the rate is going down.
The GOP response to this should not be to quibble with numbers, but to double down on offense: "You are PROUD of 7.8% unemployment after 44 months and $3trillion in borrowed stimulus money? Really???"
Do you remember the phony townhall debate between Hillary and Obama in Las Vegas? Neither Hillary nor Obama were willing to do a debate without approving the questions. So, they each brought out their personal union supporters, who read questions that were typed up and handed out before the debate.
Obama gave away the plan by greeting the head of the SEIU Kitchen workers by name.
I also think that Romney is well-aware of the pitfalls of the “townhall” debate format and probably has done simulated debates where essentially every questioner is Left-leaning; he can certainly call on a lot of younger people—including his own sons!—to do a perfect simulation of what an all-Left audience will be like.
They are laughable. They spent every dime they had constructing a caricature of Romney and he blew it up in 90 minutes.
I think both of those are givens, but see my earlier point about Mittens being sort of a darkhorse in this format.
BTW, Obama was able to out-Bubba Mrs. Clinton in the townhall format, but he couldn't keep up with John Edwards.
On the other hand, Casey Anthony could probably beat Hillary Clinton in a townhall debate.
I don’t agree with your assessment of Obama’s advantage in the town hall format. Whenever he is forced to interact with a lowly commoner the man looks excruciatingly uncomfortable. He attempts to make small talk and ends up just sounding like a dork. Let’s face it, the guy is no Bill Clinton.
Are you basing your assessment on his altercation with "Joe the Plumber," or have you watched a typical Obama campaign rally? The townhall audience is going to look a lot more like the latter.
Mittens is prepared. And all he has to do is not look incompetent or mean. Meanwhile, one more bad performance by Bobo, one little gaffe, and the election is OVER. Why? Because his already apathetic supporters will have what’s left of their spirit crushed like a menthol cigarette butt under the sole of a patent leather platform shoe. The thought of which brings a smile to my face.
The next debate is in "town-forum" format and you just know that we are going to see the return of pony-tailed guy, or some variation thereof, caterwauling about what the government needs to do for him.
In this debate, we will likely see Romney challenged on the "47% video" as well.
The good news is that Romney will not exactly be marking time. He'll also have time to prepare and improve and he'll bring the confidence that he gained in the first debate. So any improvement on Obama's part should be offset or even surpassed by the further improvement we will see in Romney.
I think Romney will have adequate responses for whatever they throw at him and he'll have some zingers of his own.
In fact, I have the perfect zinger for him...Romney should bring up all Obama's broken promises including his 2009 proclamation that he would be a "one-term president" if he didn't turn around the economy in three years.
Romney should then look at him and say "Ironically Mr. Obama, this appears to be the only promise you are going to be keeping."
I'm not disagreeing with you that the audience will be filled with Obama worshipers. What I'm saying is that this guy just plain doesn't like average people. And he is much too lousy an actor to keep it off his face.
I agree with your view that the townhall venue plays into the perceived affability and likeability strengths of Obama. However, it worked in ‘92 for Clinton before he had been elected and had a real record. Romney eviscerated Obama Wednesday night in a very decent, but forceful way.
In one answer he listed out how we know Obama has failed because the number of people on foodstamps has climbed from 32 million to 47 million, because 50% of this year’s college graduates can’t find work, because unemployment, because, because...
This approach is so effective because it deflates Obama’s good acting skills by countering with the truth. Every time Romney counters Obama’s rhetoric in a debate with the facts of Obama’s presidency, the balloon further deflates. Clinton’s ‘96 reelection was fortuitous for him because the American people voted a GOP congress in the ‘94 midterm who instilled discipline, and Clinton adapted to it with his Triangulation strategy. Obama has shown total contempt for the 2010 midterm election results and his results in governance has sealed his fate.
Romney, in spite of differences I have with him, is very disciplined and always prepared. He will defeat Obama.
I disagree. Obama can only do well in that format if the hall has been stuffed with his supporters and he's been briefed in advance on the questions they will ask [a distinct possibility.]
The guy is now famous for his inability to answer questions off-the-cuff. Romney will shine in this format, but Obama will be declared the winner.
Reagan was shot by an assassin and was smiling when he walked into the emergency room!!! People loved Reagan since he was governor of California! Obama is definitely NOT Ronald Reagan.
Few men get a second chance to make a first impression. Reagan was one.
Obama is a skinny little pencil necked little jagoff. Stick a fork in him
That cracking sound you heard Wednesday night was millions of necks across the nation responding to the epiphany that the media-crafed images of Obama and Romney were lies...
Can you imagine what that debate must have done to Bobo’s self-confidence? It’s like a boxer who has risen to the top on the basis of bouts he didn’t know were fixed all of a sudden going against a skilled professional. And he is facing the same opponent in two more fights!!!
He’s gonna need even more relaxation techniques for the next 2 debates if there are 2 more debates. i predict he will bow out before the 3rd on foreign policy.