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October 25, 2012

Rasmussen: 49% Say Romney Won The Debates, 41% Say Obama

sadfaceschrisandrachel.jpg
Immortal image from MSNBC on the night of October 3rd.
Picture credit: Blessed Blasphemy

Small point here.

Before the debates, people were saying "Debates don't matter." There's a reason for that -- they usually don't. In most debates, while someone is acknowledged as a "winner," it's really a close thing. I agreed with this guy on this, with the other guy on that. I liked this line, it made me laugh. This guy made a good point here.

It's a very even thing. Someone "wins," but, you know, barely.

So that's why it doesn't change numbers.

Now, obviously, that was not what happened in the October 3rd debate. The October 3rd debate was a demolition, or, as Jay Mohr called it, a "curbstomp."

The successive debates were like the usual sort of "debate." Someone "won," as usual, but without actually making an impression or impact.

The game was played over four quarters. Romney ran up the score 35-0 in the first quarter. The remaining quarters were (arguably) 7-6 in slight favor of Obama. (I actually think Romney and Ryan won all of them on substance.)

Overall, the game was still a decisive loss for Obama.

One thing that's been annoying me is the reaction by liberals. They understood -- they knew -- Obama got his head handed to him in the first debate. And they also realized, then, that Obama had to be said to have done the same to Romney in successive debates.

That's why you've seen this furious spinning from liberals that Obama (and even Biden!) somehow "destroyed" Romney and Ryan and later debates.

They knew they were destroyed by that debate; they were furiously trying to gin up the meme that Obama had done the same in return to Romney.

But no one believed that, not even they themselves. They understood the following debates were like the usual "Debates don't matter" situation; someone arguably came out ahead on debate points, but no one really "won" in any genuine way.

Even worse, they failed to understand that Romney and Ryan were winning the debates on the grounds they actually fought on. Understanding that they were actually ahead (or soon would be) based on the October 3 debate, their strategy from that point out was to reassure voters who were already beginning to incline towards them, to offer confirmation that their October 3rd hunch was correct.

They did just that.

Obama, on the other hand, hand a much steeper hill to climb: He had to attempt to prove that Romney's first performance was some kind of wild fluke, and that he was unqualified for office, no matter what that first debate suggested.

He failed at that. That's why he's continued to lose ground.

There's an interesting structure to this campaign that I think I'm the first to explicitly mention. It occurs to me just now.

It had been argued, previously, that Romney wanted a "Referendum" election, and Obama wanted a "Choice" election.

Romney wanted a straight referendum on Obama's performance, whereas Obama wanted people to only consider the contest in terms of Obama vs. Romney.

Obama's ad strategy -- a year of demonizing Romney -- was aimed at disqualifying Romney. And it was mostly successful -- after all, just before the debates, Obama had something like a four or five point national lead.

Obama's negative campaign actually changed the structure of the race so that it wasn't a Referendum on Obama, but in fact a Referendum on Romney-- and Romney was losing that Referendum until Oct. 3rd.

The October 3rd debate changed that. Suddenly, Romney was a perfectly reasonable, perfectly acceptable candidate, and so it became either a Referendum on Obama, which he loses, or a Choice between Romney and Obama, which Obama also loses.

Obama never had anything else but that negative campaign on Romney. Now that that's gone, he's reduced to Binders Full of Birth Control and Romnesia and a silly Big Picture children's book called "Obama's New Agenda for a 2nd Term."

In a way, Obama might have been hurt a bit by his Negative Ad blitz working too well for a while, encouraging him to rely on nothing but that.

At any rate. Obama lost the debates. This was obvious to any fair viewer, whether conservative, moderate, liberal, Republican, Independent, or Democrat.

I'm glad that the absurd spin over that fact will finally stop.



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posted by Ace at 07:20 PM

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