Some anonymous comments:
The swing of momentum in Romney's favor is the result of voters finally hearing who he really is. Finally seeing his capability as a leader. They may not believe in his policy proposals (yet), but they are ready for change. Four years ago, voters believed that an academic and technocratic approach would bring the government together in a way to create progress. What they are saying is that instead they want a dynamic leader. Romney brings that. Obama never did.
The first debate gave Mitt Romney a fighting chance. The other debates haven't and won't change the dynamic of the race.
Well, it's a maybe. I think they are helping Romney *potentially* win. If he does win, it will be because of a good showing in the debates, and it will be an important shift in the importance of these debates.
First one gave Romney a bump. VP debate showed both VP candidates were viable VP candidates but pray for the president. Second real one brought Obama back to even or better. Third debate, for the first time, may have some real impact.
Romney finally came across as human; Obama pointed out the real policies the Republicans are supporting.
The first debate brought Romney into contender status, but the second debate helped Obama, simply because he did better, and everyone wants people to improve, right? Ultimately, the net effect from the debates is that the race will be closer than it was before.
It has helped Romney the most.
The first one was a game changer for Romney and got him back in the race. Obama held his own in the second, so he is not ceding the election to Romney. We haven't seen the third one yet, but if both avoiding drooling and telling people they hate puppies it will have little effect on what will be a horse race to the end.
They have helped Romney, but maybe not enough.
Undecided voters will lean toward Romney. Obama's team made a tactical mistake by spending the summer painting Romney as much worse than he is. Now that people get to see and hear Romney and find that Obama's message doesn't match the man subconsciously they will not trust the Obama message.
The debates give voters a chance to see the candidates interact and communicate under high stress situations. The actual benefit has more to do with seeing demeanor, thinking in real time and communication styles as opposed to actual policy proposals which are all outlined on websites. Like an interview process for a job applicant, you learn things that aren't available on a written resume.
Clearly Romney benefited massively from the first debate. The vice presidential debate and Obama's much improved performance in the second presidential debate seem to have staunched the blood flow from the Obama campaign but it's clear the race wouldn't be as tight as it is right now if not for the first debate.
They have helped Romney but not to the extent necessary to secure a Romney win.
Most people, I believe, already know which of the two presidential candidates they support. The debates simply serve primarily to reinforce what they already believe to be true about their candidate or the other guy. In addition, the debates are good water cooler topics for the next day office/phone chats. The few people who count on the debate to decide which candidate they will vote for on November 6 are a small minority and make need the debates to helped them decide. I, however, doubt it. There is such a stark political difference between President Obama and GOP candidate Mitt Romney, most folks already know which one will get their vote -- even as they claim they have not made a choice.
The second debate helped President Obama a little, but the first debate was an opportunity for independents to take a second look at Romney and that is what will bring Romney a victory.
After the first debate clearly Romney got a boost. It was a game changer.
The debates have given Romney an opportunity to show voters who he really is as opposed to the Romney created by the Obama campaign. I believe most undecided voters are unhappy with the President and now can see Romney as a viable alternative.
Some anonymous comments:
Vice-presidents and their accompanying debates are more interesting and entertaining than they are needle-moving.
I thought both have been rude, but the public doesn't really seem to care.
Biden being Biden and Mitt getting a backbone. If Mitt escalates in the next one, it will hurt him because the complaints about rudeness will heighten awareness and confirm a "mean" streak.
"Reality" shows have made rudeness acceptable!
The partisans who complain about the opposing side being rude will never change anyone's mind, especially their own.
As the reactions show, with equal derision from both parties, "rude" is a relative term. And in two weeks, voters won't give it a thought.
Rude or aggressive are in the eye of the beholder.
We have descended to new lows in all categories in politics - -we can thank the Supreme Court for the best elections money can buy!
Everybody expects the candidates to be aggressive but polite - not usually possible at the same time. Look at Obama - very diffident in the first debate and slammed for it, very aggressive in the second presidential debate and praised for it.
The undecided voter is not looking for any particular information from these debates. Their vote will come from an overall feeling that likely won't be policy related.
I think independent voters may be somewhat turned off by really rude, aggressive behavior of the candidates. The counterargument is that the belligerence fires up the base and gets out more votes. Unfortunately, I'd say it's probably a wash so not much of a disincentive for politicians to be more civil and polite in their debates with each other.
Charges that this or that person was rude in the debate are just subjective talking points for the so-called media talking heads... Even though it shouldn't be, America's politics and political debates are now on the same rhetorical scale as sporting events. They don't mean much in the final analysis.
Their constant whining is making the ears of the electorate bleed just a little. Only extremists vote for what makes their ears bleed.
"He was too mean" is the observation of a party hack whose opinion is not worth knowing in the first place.
The entire process is rude and treated like some sort of athletic event by the press instead of opportunities to learn what candidates believe and how they would govern/run the country if given the chance. Money makes the whole process a disgusting display of negativity and smear. Let us hear the truth of what any particular candidate believes and let us decide whom to vote for.
It was perhaps a big deal at the time, but now that the second presidential debate is over nobody will even remember the VP candidates even debated.
Some anonymous comments:
The undecideds get one last chance, and the weeks worth of polling due to come out on Sunday October 28th will show the results. Form there it's a sprint to November. Not much movement after that. So this last debate will be it.
Potentially very important. If one legitimately outshines the other it could decide the contest. But it's going to have to obvious, like the first debate, otherwise it won't change minds.
They will most likely stay even again which is a win for Romney since the momentum is swinging his way.
Not many undecided voters remaining. However a few may change their vote if one of the candidates makes a big error.
Unless a gaffe escapes, it will be a scripted non-event that both sides will say was "an obvious win" for their respective candidate.
If the race is close, it could swing enough voters to change the outcome. There are still enough undecided voters who will use only the debates as the determining factor in their final vote.
It won't have much importance, unless someone really goofs.
It will probably all be over but the shouting by then. And of course they will both shout at each other!
Undecided voters at this point will be looking for the candidate they think appears most presidential and not basing their decision on any logical thought process.
For the seven or eight people in the nine swing states who have not yet made up their minds after the barrage of ads, the final debate could be the deciding factor, but only if one candidate has a melt down. If both candidates bring their A game, the final debate wont really matter.
I still find it ironic that in the 21st century we use 20th century technology (television) to broadcast an 18th century, if not earlier, methodology (debate) to decide the most powerful position in the world. It is time we come up with a better, less costly, more informative method.
I think Obama will begin pulling away from Romney again. If Obama turns in a decently strong performance next week then he will continue that trajectory and come out the winner on Nov. 6.
Those claiming they haven't decided -- and usually root for the winner or loser (underdog) in any sporting event -- may take a few perceptions from the final presidential debate to feel confident about their choice -- which they have already made.
Who will have their minds changed by the next (WWF) smackdown? Idiots/ fools, the press, partisans?
Obama won the second debate by a hair, but at this point it doesn't seem to be affecting the race. I predict the third debate will also be a draw and will have little impact. Really, it will be that first debate that people will be talking about years from now.
Only if one of the candidates comes out the clear "winner" in the debate.
Respondents include -
Fred Adams, Stuart Adams, Jess Agraz, Scott Anderson, Laura Arellano, Patrice Arent, Bette Arial, Neil Ashdown, Bruce Baird, Tom Barberi, Heather Barney, Steve Barth, Jeff Bell, Tom Berggren, Mike Bertelsen, Ron Bigelow, Emily Bingham-Hollingshead, Rob Bishop, Laura Black, Nanci Bockelie, Charles Bradley, Jim Bradley, Ralph Brown, Chris Bleak, Curt Bramble, Joel Briscoe, Ralph Brown, Aaron Browning, Ken Bullock, Ric Cantrell, Maura Carabello, Marty Carpenter, Rebecca Chavez-Houck, Kay Christensen, David Clark, Kim Coleman, Peter Corroon, Tim Cosgrove, Fred Cox, Lew Cramer, Gene Davis, Richard Davis, Brad Daw, Alan Dayton, Margaret Dayton, Mike Deaver, Brad, Dee, Joseph Demma, Jake Dennis, Dan Deuel, Jeff Dixon, Brian Doughty, Carl Downing, Randy Dryer, Susan Duckworth, Donald Dunn, Alan Eastman, Becky Edwards, Scott Ericson, Chase Everton, Jessica Fawson, Janice Fisher, Wendy Fisher, Lorie Fowlke, Ronald Fox, Claire Francis, Ryan Frandsen, Adam Gardiner, Jordan Garn, Ernie Gamonal, Luke Garrott, Dave Gessel, Sheryl Ginsberg, Natalie Gochnour, Robert Grow, Karen Hale, David Hansen, Neil Hansen, Joe Hatch, Jeff Hartley, Dan Hauser, Lynn Hemmingway, Deidre Henderson, Neal Hendrickson, Casey Hill, Lyle Hillyard, Kory Holdaway, Randy Horiuchi, Ben Horsley, Bruce Hough, Scott Howell, Greg Hughes, Miriam Hyde, Allison Isom, Casey Jackson, Eric Jergensen, Mike Jerman, Jonathan Johnson, Michael Jolley, Gordon Jones, Leslie Jones, Pat Jones, Kirk Jowers, Jeremy Keele, Brian King, Scott Konopasek, Steve Kroes, Chris Kyler, Carter Livingston, Fred Lampropoulos, Clark Larsen, Douglas Larson, David Litvack, Larry Lunt, Matt Lyon, Ben McAdams, Daniel McCay, Gayle McKeachnie, JT Martin, Maryann Martindale, Jason Mathis, Bob Mayhew, Karen Mayne, Bret Milburn, Derek Miller, Rob Miller, Ethan Millard, Brett Millburn, Karen Morgan, Jeffery Morton, Mike Mower, Holly Mullen, Wayne Niederhauser, Mike Noel, Randy O'Hara, Ralph Okerlund, James Olsen, Val Oveson, Kelly Patterson, John Pearce, Helen Peters, Karen Peterson, Frank Pignanelli, Becky Pirente, Marie Poulson, Jason Powers, Tami Pyfer, Joe Pyrah, Mike Reberg, Jill Remington Love, Lauren Richards, Holly Richardson, Robin Riggs, James Roberts, Luz Robles, Ross Romero, Carol Sapp, Don Savage, Bryan Schott, Shauna Scott-Bellaccomo, Jay Seegmiller, Jennifer Seelig, Patrick Shea, Randy Shumway, Soren Simonsen, Jeremy Slaughter, Brendan Smith, Brian Somers, Carol Spackman-Moss, Robert Spendlove, Barbara Stallone, Howard Stephenson, David Stringfellow, Mike Styler, Shinika Sykes, Juliette Tennert, Gary Thorup, Kevin Van Tassell, Royce Van Tassel, Doug Thompson, Michael Waddoups, Laura Warburton, Chuck Warren, Christine Watkins, LaVarr Webb, Todd Weiler, Alan West, Mark Wheatley, Larry Wiley, Ted Wilson, Carl Wimmer, Mike Winder, Travis Wood, Thomas Wright, Crystal Young-Otterstrom
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