Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The 2012 Final Presidential Debate – Obama Alert Aggressive – Romney Calm, Collected, Commanding – A Mix of Strategy Like no Other.

Mitt Rommney and Barack Obama, the final debate - image marketwatch

In watching the last of the 2012 Presidential Debates last evening – one might have thought, by the hype given to the final debate that it would move mountains for one candidate or another – there were no pivotal movements for either candidate. The President appeared to be the Hawk in this final debate, while Governor Mitt Romney appeared to be the man of peace, no t only through strength but through diplomacy. Although those who were looking for a smack down, drag-out final debate might have been disappointed, and it certainly appeared as those Obama was spoiling for a fight, Romney’s entire demeanor was one of steady hand, refusing to be drawn into a brawl, giving President Obama his due for what he had accomplished overall, and offering a slightly different version of what he might have done differently in some instances. Of particular interest was the difference in Romney approach to the turbulent Middle east and the education against radical Islam, while his view of the import of Pakistan, a country President Obama, in the 2008 debates, declared must be confronted, almost dismissively, was, perhaps, the approach that appealed the most; working with the former ally, but with conditional aid. In fact, Governor Romney is a stickler for conditional aid – one must do something to earn the aid, to ensure progress is being made – a carrot with a stick of one will, with an advantage for both the nation which is availing itself of aid from the U.S., and the U.S. taxpayer who’s faced with sending billions of dollars to foreign countries with little to show but continued strife and waste. Although one might be a partisan, either one way or another, it was clear the Romney was comfortable in the role as Commander in Chief, as well as in tackling the economy – the number one issue on most American’s minds. The debate, and both men’s performances, suggest it will do little to help the President at this stage of the game, and made Romney slightly more likeable in general and capable of handling the job.

The CNN-ORC Poll offered the President an 8 point win over Governor Romney, a smaller margin of victory than produced by the second, new more aggressive Obama seen in the second debate. On a whole the debate appeared a draw, giving Romney the same advantage when it came to trust in the position of Commander in Chief. The poll also suggests that it was weighed more towards Republicans than most polls, giving the Democrats 34 % to Republican’s 30%, or a poll, in truth more in line with voter registration than those polls taken over the course of this contest, which uses the 2008 electoral model – weighted 8 points more for Democrats, who came saw an increase in voter identification in 2008. This particular model also leaves one the impression that the race is extremely tight, as pundits suggest that the polls are tied nationally.

What was of interest was the CNN electoral college map, which gives Obama a hefty lead over Mitt Romney, again based on the prior election. One might want to take a closer look at the Real Clear Politics Model, a model that offers a combination of all polls taken, weighted as well, which now gives Mitt Romney the edge. To add to the confusion of those watching the polls, Gallup Polling, the most prestigious polling firm, (calling 18 of the last elections within the margin of error), has Romney with the edge at last count by 51 to 45 among likely voters. Although one might consider this a “close contest”, it may be worth noting that those pollsters, coming into the final two weeks, and using the 8 percentage point weight, will see the race as a draw, right to the end. Additionally to suggest that one state will make the difference in this contest, such as Ohio, one might want to consider that in times of deep economic upheaval, the challenger has won with slightly more of an advantage than the incumbent, confounding all traditional pollsters who had used a previous election model, including Gallup.

Best line in the debate goes to moderator Bob Schieffer who invoked his mother: “Go vote, it will make you feel big and strong”.

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