Erick Erickson- I think Mitt Romney won the debate, but not by much. He flubbed a few good opportunities to really score decisive blows on the President, but definitely drew more blood. The CNN polling and CBS News polling confirm it. While more thought Barack Obama won the debate, largely because his last performance was so bad, clear majorities outside the margin of error thought Mitt Romney would be best on the economy, jobs, the deficit, etc. That suggests Romney did win, but people viewed Obama’s debate performance as an improvement over the first one. In fact, while other areas of the debate may overshadow this point, Romney deftly dispatched Obama on his economic record. That is the one issue that matters. It got so bad, Obama had to trot out Planned Parenthood and Big Bird.
Additionally, if you ever wondered who could be undecided at this point in the election, well now you know. Fear for the Republic. Why the debate commission thought it a good idea to go to Long Island, NY to hear from undecided voters in an area not considered a swing state is really beyond me.
Before I go anywhere else, one part of the debate is absolutely going to get overshadowed and I actually think it was one of the most critical exchanges. It showed just how out of touch Barack Obama is. It also explains why voters who thought Obama might have won the debate overwhelming thought Mitt Romney would do better on jobs and the economy.
The President tried to claim that the reason gas prices were so low in 2008 was because the economy was so bad. He actually wanted the audience to believe that the economy is going gangbusters now as a reason for $4.00 gasoline — a delusion the undecided voters clearly did not buy. His words — he said that gas prices were so low because of the economy, which clearly means he thinks it is so high now because of the recovery. What recovery? Romney hit him hard on this and the undecided voters reacted favorably to Romney. There is more room for Romney to hit Obama on the airwaves over gas prices.