Yesterday evening, President Barack Obama and Republican hopeful Mitt Romney took the stage at Long Island's, Hofstra University for the second of their three impromptu debates leading up to the November 6th election. Given that most Americans thought Mr. Romney did a much better job that his opponent in the first debate, this one was particularly crucial for the President and the Democratic Party. So how did he do? Read on!
To begin with, unlike the first debate, this one was conducted in a town hall setting filled with undecided voters who were allowed to ask about any issue that concerned them and therefore, included both domestic and foreign policy questions.
While the candidates did a fairly decent job addressing the issues the general consensus was that they spent too much time arguing with each other. Having said that 46% of CNN voters comprising of uncommitted 457 registered voters that watched the 90-minute televised debate live, thought that Obama won this round compared to 39% that thought Mitt Romney did better.
Political analysts were not that convinced - While they all agree that President Obama was a lot better than he was in the first debate (A fact the CNN poll reaffirms with a 73- 37% vote in favor of Obama), they maintain that both candidates had their strong moments, but neither was spectacular enough to sway the undecided voters in their favor. Of course, this assessment does not go down well with the two sides.
According to senior Romney campaign strategist Stuart Stevens - "(I think) President Obama came in and overcompensated, There's a difference between showing passion and showing you having a plan."
To which the senior campaign adviser David Axelrod retorts -"You saw Governor Romney backpedaling all night, you saw him defensive, in some cases stammering, trying to explain his plans. It was a dominant performance because the president pulled the curtain back on this bait-and-switch of Mitt Romney."
While people may not agree on who won or lost the debate, there is one thing they do agree on - Both candidates spent way too much time attacking each another and even worse, squabbling like young children about who got to speak last or who was not following the rules of the debate, instead of focusing on what they were there for - The issues facing the country!
Given that the most recent polls indicate that voters are almost equally divided between them (Mitt Romney - 51%, President Obama - 45%), the candidates both clearly have their work cut out, before the big day. Their third and final chance to making a favorable impression on the American public and get decisively ahead is on Monday, October 22nd, 2012 - So stay tuned!
Resources: CNN.com, sfgate.com,washingtonpost.com