Romney debate win may not be enough : pundits

by | Oct 4, 2012 | News

Romney and Obama debated key issues in Denver last night. COURTESY CBC

By Jessy Bains

U.S. President Obama locked horns with Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney on Wednesday night in Denver, and many believe Romney came out on top. However, what lasting effect that will have is not clear, yet, pundits say.

“Many people including democratic strategists seem to be conceding that presidential candidate Romney won on the presentation side,” Chris Irwin, liberal arts and sciences professor at Humber College told Humber News on Thursday.

Irwin said Obama seemed off of his game.

“I think president Obama has had better days,” said Irwin.

“Did he just have a bad day, did he not get enough sleep, was he taken off-guard by the strategy of his opponent in the debate? We’ll never know.”

Romney performed better than many expected him to, Irwin said, adding that it’s unclear how the debate will affect the election until polling data comes out.

“Romney was fresh, he was well rehearsed,” Renan Levine, lecturer on political strategy from the University of Toronto, told Humber News.

“He had clearly benefited from debating quite a lot over the past year and a half, while Obama seemed pretty rusty.”

May or may not impact voters

Still, Levine said Romney’s strong performance may or may not have an impact on voters.

“My gut says this was not a huge victory for Romney that’s going to dramatically change the electoral landscape, but I do expect that he will probably gain a few points in the polls,” said Levine.

Levine pointed out that strong debate performances are not always enough to sway voters.

2004 Democratic Party candidate John Kerry was widely thought to have beat then president George W. Bush, said Levine.

“At the end of the day a lot of voters said they were quite comfortable staying with Bush,” Levine said.

There are still two presidential debates left this fall, in New York state and in Florida.

The format will shift to a town hall meeting for the next round of debates, said Levine,  and the outcome could be very different.

“It’s a format that Obama typically does very well at. And that’s going to lead to the biggest changes, working toward Obama’s strengths,” said Levine.