Presidential Debate winner in 'eye of beholder' - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Presidential Debate winner in 'eye of beholder'


Two separate instant polls both show Republican challenger Mitt Romney scored big in last night's first presidential debate.  Some analysts have since compared the performances to the first debate eight years ago, between then-President George W. Bush and Democratic challenger Senator John Kerry.

Polling after the first presidential debate in 2004 showed Sen. Kerry handily defeated the president and did so again in debates two and three as well, but then lost in a close race.  Some observers wonder if we're watching history repeat itself.

When it comes to debates, as with most things in life, some say it's best to be careful what you wish for because you just may get it.  Case in point:  Talking nitty gritty about the issues and sticky policy points.  It typically does not lend itself to punchy four or five second television news sound bites that most of us have become all too accustomed.

And if you wanted drawn out details, this first presidential debate in Denver, Colorado was your kind of political theater.  But local viewer Lane Butler, wondered aloud, "My biggest fear is people aren't paying attention to the news media and to what's going on in the world and they're just watching YouTube and Facebook, just making their decisions there."

For the more than 58 million Americans who did watch, according to Nielsen media, many paid particular attention to key issues, especially the economy.  "And the way they're going to create jobs.  I'm not too sure either one of them can really create jobs.  But, I'm willing for something to happen," said local viewer John Miller.

The shrinking middle class and how to help that group has become another hot topic, especially to debate viewer Roy Bennett, Jr.  "I am the working middle class and that's the one issue that we need to, that both candidates should have addressed and I think the President did very well in addressing the issue."

But not everyone thought the President addressed all the issues well.  Just ask Lane Butler.  "I thought the President was a little lost on a few of his points."

But, based on the comments coming in about the debate, it appears political performance, like beauty, truly is in the eye of the beholder.  For example, viewer Carl Davis seemed to have watched a different Barack Obama than did Lane Butler.  "(The) President was more precise than Governor Romney was, in my opinion."

If the comparison from the 2004 presidential race holds true, Mitt Romney will cut in half President Obama's overall lead in the polls.  According to polling clearinghouse web site 'Real Clear,' the President's average lead in the polls stands at just over 3-percent. Cutting that margin in half would translate into a very tight race.


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