President Obama and Mitt Romney meet in second 2012 presidential debate

Who Won? Who Lost? Who Cares?

President Obama and Mitt Romney meet in second 2012 presidential debate
President Obama and Mitt Romney meet in second 2012 presidential debate

Tuesday we had our second presidential debate of the 2012 general election. The Republican candidate Mitt Romney took on the incumbent President Barack Obama. The first debate, from two weeks ago, had all sorts of mixed reviews, but the bulk of them had Mitt Romney looking good and the president not as much. All week long people talked about how bad the president performed in the first televised debate. Post debate polls had Governor Romney taking a slight lead among likely voters. The vice presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan provided some relief for Democrats as Vice President Biden seemed to attack more and be more of a debater. This time around, Obama needed a positive result, and it looked like it worked. For those of you scoring at home, it would seem that Governor Romney won the first one and President Obama won the last one. So let’s take a look at those who are keeping score.

According to a new CNN poll, out of 457 registered voters, 46% say President Obama won the debate Tuesday night, as opposed to 39% for Governor Romney. Another group of 430 people who were polled after the first debate on October 3rd had the debate 67% to 25% in favor of Romney. It is known that some people intend on watching the debates objectively, but others of course are rooting for their candidate of choice. By now, the majority of America has their mind made up on who they will be voting for in November. Typically we fall along party lines and vote with whoever aligns best with our ideologies. These debates serve to try to convince those voters otherwise and to capture the vote of the undecided voter, the people who have not committed their vote one way or another. These people are the ones who’s “scorecard” matters most.

We’ve seen undecided voters play significant parts in recent elections. Several states such as Florida, Ohio and Virginia have great populations of voters who sometimes vote Democrat and sometimes vote Republican. How have they been watching and gauging the debate between the two candidates is the question. The lay person can watch the debate, and no matter who they admit to performing best, they’re still probably going to vote for whoever is in their party. The so-called “winner” of the debate is allegedly decided by the non-committed voter. If one poll leaned toward one candidate after the first debate, then those polled were those who could be swayed. If the other candidate won the following debate then those same swayed voters would have to come back the other way. If undecided voters were watching attentively then they will decide the ultimate winner of the debate on Tuesday, November 6th.

Not for nothin’ but can someone really win without a score? There’s no official count in debates, and this is definitely not a game. So why must we declare a winner; just to appease the undecided voter and the public for an outcome? You win when you vote. Decide on whoever you want to win, if you haven’t done so already, and vote. Most of us have decided. A debate will probably not influence us any further. If I’m a 49ers fan, and they lose a game, I’m still going to like the 49ers and think their the best team ever. And with the way voter turnout is these days, the undecided voter is losing the “voter” part of their name. Usually it’s people who are not going to vote, don’t care to vote, or who don’t know what they are voting for. These are the people who are going to decide who the president will be?

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