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.
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.