Free Markets, Free People

The 2nd debate: Who “won”?

Good question really.  I know who most media outlets have declared the winner, but frankly, my guess is that was written before the debate.  After all, given his last performance it’s hard to conceive how President Obama could have done worse.  And given the low expectations, exceeding them was going to look like a “win” or at least be portrayed like one.  The media loves “comeback kid” story lines.

Of course there was the usual grousing about the moderator, in this case, Candy Crowley.  Some is to be expected.  Some, in this case, was warranted.  What is the job of a moderator?  Well, what it isn’t is to provide “instant fact-checking”, especially when the fact check is incorrect.  Moderators should be like referees or umpires – all but invisible while they keep the debate to the rules.  However, when you pick people with large egos and biases to “moderate”, well, don’t be surprised when they make every attempt to insert themselves in things of which they have no business being a part.

However, to the main point.  Who ‘won’?

Well a CBS instapoll says Obama won.  Of course CBS was the only poll that said Joe Biden won so, yeah, not such a great endorsement.  And the “win” was marginal at best, even with CBS.

In a CBS News poll, 37 percent of 525 uncommitted voters who watched the debate declared Obama the winner, compared to 30 percent who said the same of Romney; 33 percent said it was a tie.

CNN’s instant poll also gave the “win” to Obama (46/39 – registered voters).

So, woohoo for Obama! Right?

Well, I guess,  unless you look at some of the other numbers in the polls.  And then, well, not so much:

Despite Obama’s slight edge overall, Romney was seen as better able to handle most issues.

The trend was most notable in the CNN poll: he had an 18-point edge among registered voters on the economy (58 percent to Obama’s  40 percent ); a 3-point edge on health care (49 percent to 46 percent); a 7-point edge on taxes (51 percent to 44 percent); and, largest of all, a 23-point edge on the deficit (59 percent to 36 percent).

Obama’s only lead in the CNN poll was a slim one on foreign policy: 2 percent more of the registered voters who watched the debate said he would handle the issue better (49 percent to 47 percent for Romney).

In the CBS poll, 65 percent of respondents also said Romney would handle the economy better after the debate (though that decreased from 71 percent before the debate). Only 34 percent said Obama would handle the economy better, but that was a jump of 7 percentage points.

Personal metrics were split a bit more evenly. Forty-nine percent of those in the CNN poll said Romney was the stronger leader, compared to 46 percent for Obama. The president still had a lead on likeability by a margin of 47 percent to 41 percent. He was also perceived as caring more about the audience by a margin of 4 points, but also as spending more time on the attack by a 14-points one.

Among uncommitted voters surveyed in the CBS poll, 56 percent said the president would do a better job of helping the middle class, compared to only 43 percent who said the same of Romney.

So wait … are we voting on who did better in a debate, or who would do a better job as President?

Oh, that’s right, this is about the job, isn’t it?

And finally:

The final word from the CNN respondents? Twenty-five percent said the debate made them more likely to vote for Romney, and 25 percent said the same for Obama.

So who “won”?

Hmm … yes, if I was the Obama campaign brain-trust, I’d be worried too.

Oh, and in the third debate, Obama won’t have the benefit of low expectations working for him and, hopefully, we’ll see a debate where “moderation” means “referee”, not “instant but wrong fact checker“.


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33 Responses to The 2nd debate: Who “won”?

  • I still don’t understand why Jabba the Hutt jumped into Libya and totally screwed it up

    • She couldn’t help herself, way down deep she is a Democratic Shill!!

      • “down deep she is a Democratic Shill”

        Also at the surface, and in the voluminous parts between.  

        Leftist operatives with bylines. 

    • Because Benghazi has the potential to completely derail the Obama re-election effort and they all know it.

      • True but for that to happen Mitt needs to NOT whiff on the subject. Bringing up Vegas was nice but still….opportunity missed. But on a different topic…..this campaign horrifies me. It took what was basically a once-in-a-generation debate performance for Romney to break through the media filter and air cover and get to the general public. And based on the last two debates, you can be sure the MSM will never make that mistake again.

  • cuz she is a left wing twat.

    • I found myself yelling, “Get that fat f*$king sow off the stage!”.

      • We started doing one-onethousand counts after a while to see how long Candy would let them ramble UN-interrupted.    At one point on Barack’s longest soliloquy we started shouting “hello!  Moderator?  Hello?” at about a minute and a quarter.

        • I mean when they went over, which they both did….a lot.

          • You could tell Mitt KNEW he was going to get stepped on by Candy Biden…I mean Crowley. Hey, their techniques are the same, so excuuuuuse me.

  • One thing emerging from this series of debates; they are launching pads for a LOT of New Media and social media follow-on.
    In that context, this was a losing debate for Obama, just like Biden’s bath salts performance was a huge net loss.  The postmortem will be where the real damage is done.

  • How does one grade a debate when the MODERATOR keeps interrupting one side, plays “fact checker”, cuts off one side and lets her side run?
    That’s the equivalence of a “Kangaroo court”. As the below points out, it wasn’t a debate, it was a “disaster”. I’d say it was a childish prank and goes beyond measure that the left AND the media are but immature, spoiled brats even into their 50’s.

  • Of course there was the usual grousing about the moderator, in this case, Candy Crowley.  Some is to be expected.  Some, in this case, was warranted.

    Great example of downplay. I suppose an umpire tripping a base runner is “not sporting”, huh?

  • If you’ve experienced four years of this clown in office and you’re still going to vote for him, a debate is probably not going to change anything.  I just don’t buy that there are that many people straddling the fence here, unless they are somewhat-reluctant ’08 Obama voters.  Which is still not a huge group.

  • I stopped watching after BO flat-out lied about the decrease in oil & gas production on Federal lands during his administration.  Romney called him on it and he lied again while insisting on his “facts”.  Ditto the claim that Permitting has increased.  Permitorium was coined to describe what the Feds are doing in the Gulf.  I noted though in the exchange that BO attempted to go Biden on Romney (over-talking and interrupting), and Romney essentially told the Prez to ” shut-up, you’ll get your chance to talk.

    Pres. Bumps also tipped his hand on gun control in a second helping of Obamic Decline.

  • Another Luntz group swung to Romney.   2 for 2.

  • The real bottom line is that after all the complaints about needing more specifics about Romney’s plans, it becomes clearer and cleaner that Obama has none.

    • That’s the great part of demanding specifics.
      “Governor Romney, on this new Medicare approach of yours, can you be specific about what information needs to go into Box 10b on form MSK9-17?”

  • It’s interesting that liberals can admit that Romney won the first debate; but conservatives can’t admit that Obama redeemed himself with the second debate.  It’s this kind of dogmatic lack of admission when they’re wrong—or at least that someone else might have a good idea contrary to their own—which drove me—and, I suppose, other liberals too—away from conservatism at an early age.

    • Tell us the metrics you are using for your blind-faith assertion that Obama “won”…or even “redeemed himself”.  Did you see the focus group response on both Fox and bsNBC?
      And remember…that debate is not OVER.  Obama’s lies were left hanging in the air, and are being fisked as we speak.