President Obama will have his rematch with Governor Romney in a town hall style debate this Tuesday night at 9:00 PM ET. After a lackluster debate performance during the last presidential debate, President Obama must come to this debate fully loaded and ready to fire back to have any chance to stop the recent Mitt Romney surge.
Presidential debates prove to be more influential in this year’s election than many analyst predicted. The GOP continues to point out 1980 debates that took Ronald Reagan from the losing candidate and transformed him into a serious contender for the presidential position. Reagan then went on to eventually win the 1980 election. Flash forward to 2012, and the same can said about how Mitt Romney’s debate performance has created this surge that has allowed him become the serious presidential candidate that many people refused to acknowledge before.
In the most recent Gallup poll, Romney has a four-percentage-point advantage over Obama, which is not statistically significant, but shows that Romney has consistently edged ahead of Obama in the last several days following first presidential debate.
Rich Galen, a conservative commentator, told CNN, “The rise in Romney’s favorability numbers was due partly to support from right-leaning voters who don’t like Obama but weren’t yet sold on the Republican until the first debate.”
Romney must stay focused in order to keep this momentum. The reaction to Obama’s first debate showing left voters shocked, and made them take a second look at Governor Romney. The Romney campaign throughout this election has been criticized for its poor job in appealing to voters early on. This means that if Romney slips up, the fall will be even greater. Most people will try new ideas at first, but if the ideas fails to see continuous results people always run back to what they already know. Romney must maintain his current momentum with the debates so that voters will to warm up to the idea of a Romney Presidency and not run back to the Obama presidency they already know.
According to the Pew Research survey, the strong Romney performance in Round 1 has changed how voters set the odds for Round 2: 41% of Americans expect Obama to win; 37% expect Romney to prevail.
Tonights debate will have major impact on this election. American voters have numbed out the television ads and now are turning to the debates in order to imagine what each presidential candidate will bring as president. If Obama outshines Romney tonight, Obama already has the base and notoriety to quickly regain his lead among likely voters.
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