We are now officially four days removed from the first presidential debate of election season, and first of all, I must state how beautiful it was to have Rice House full of people tuning in to watch this debate together. I thank you all for taking time out of your evening to view this event with the BSU. Now, granted while we as a group primarily tended to discredit what GOP candidate said, the immediate response from viewers was that Romney “won” the debate, or “beat” incumbent President Obama. But allow me to put this into perspective.

                This first debate largely circled around issues of the economy, with several references to Obamacare, unemployment and taxes. Now since GOP candidate Mitt Romney has a particular strong financial and business background, it can be expected that this sphere would allow him the best chance to have a good showing. But it does go beyond this, what does it actually mean to “win” a debate? I tend to want to put it this way. In the days and weeks leading up to this debate, Romney had suffered a string of events that were hurting his campaign, including the remarks he made in the recently released video. Because of this and other gaffes, Romney entered this debate in a particularly vulnerable position from his candidacy anyway. What many expected was for Obama to capitalize on this, to essentially bury Romney while he was down. However, Romney was aggressive throughout the debate (sometimes excessively so), and attacked Obama and his policies throughout. While Romney did not at points detail any program that he would promote, his attacking stance instead kept Obama on the defensive throughout the night. And many have taken Obama’s cool demeanor to signify an air of either aloofness, or at worst, “smugness”, as I have read in articles posted on Yahoo and Fox News. They criticize Obama for having an almost “professorial” tone during debates and speeches. All of these factors combined for a situation in which Romney was able to not only curb the downward spiral that his campaign had been suffering through, but also generate some positive momentum coming out of the debate, instead of being pushed further down. Thus, this created a “win” for the debate. But what exactly has this “win” meant?

                In one of the first full post debate surveys, the Rasmussen Poll, Romney now has the support of 49% of voters nationwide, with Obama holding 47%. But let us keep in mind that this poll also shows that Obama still holds the lead in 11 swing states, including the four most crucial: Pennsylvania, Ohio, Virginia and Florida. But those leads have shrunk slightly since the debate. But while many undecided voters did say that Romney had impressed them from this debate, there  are still many more who remain undecided and are anxiously awaiting the next two presidential debates and the vice presidential debate before they make their final decision. As always, I will try to keep everyone as up to date as possible. This next Wednesday will feature Joe Biden and Paul Ryan in their debate, with the two presidential debates largely to focus on issues such as foreign policy, immigration and issues critical to women’s rights groups, which make those also incredibly important. As always stay informed and consider me just a humble instrument of information.

One Love,

Don S. Polite Jr.


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