Three Factors in the Final Presidential Debate

Posted on October 23, 2012

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In our final debate analysis, we will stick to the same formula we have used for the first three. We will hit a few of the high and low points and give our straight-forward opinion. The Final Presidential Debate of the 2012 election took place in Florida – a pivotal battleground state. CBS anchor Bob Schieffer moderated and wins our award for Best Election 2012 Moderator. He managed to ask questions without making the audience feel like he was giving any single candidate an unfair advantage. In the final debate, we noticed 3 important factors that contributed to
the candidates’ answers.

1. Momentum Factor

Apparently when the momentum is in your factor, you play it safe. At least that is what the Romney campaign believes. Since the first debate, Romney had seen increasing support and popularity. Polls are beginning to reflect positive results for him. In the weeks leading to up an election, this is exactly where a challenger  to an incumbent needs to be. The Romney campaign knows this and thought Romney playing it safe would be the best way to keep the momentum in their favor. But, is that really the case? Is Romney’s more laid back attitude really going to transfer to maintaining their current momentum? If you recall, President Obama was more laid back in the first debate and we all know how that turned out for them. Should Mitt Romney have been more aggressive on his attacks on Barack Obama’s foreign policy? Probably not. And that brings us to our next point.

2. Undecided Voter Factor

Personally, I would have liked to have seen Mitt Romney call President Obama out on the Libya situation. Ohio Senator Rob Portman, Romney’s debate coach, noted that the reason for not bringing this up was because it had already been discussed in the previous debate. Yes, it was discussed but Romney fumbled that ball thus making a clear victory in the second showdown nearly impossible. Romney should have clarified his comments because this is a very weak spot in the Obama White House. However, avoiding Libya might have actually been a good thing. According to CNN’s Undecided Voter Meter, these undecideds did not like when one candidate would attack their opponent. Among these who didn’t like this attacking, women seemed to have a stronger distaste than men. Women are a very prized demographic in this election and be confident that both campaigns have done countless studies and know women do not like the attacks. That is why this debate was more low key. Undecided voters want answers – not attacks. Romney hit that desire for answers squarely on the head when he called President Obama out on his lack of an agenda for a second term while spewing abundance of attacks on Romney.

3. The Torch Factor

Mitt Romney had a strong statement in his closing remarks: “This nation is the hope of the earth. We’ve been blessed by having a nation that’s free and prosperous thanks to the contributions of the greatest generation. They’ve held a torch for the world to see — the torch of freedom and hope and opportunity. Now, it’s our turn to take that torch.” To me, this was the strongest line of the night. We all know America is the greatest country in the world. We are predecessors of the hardest working nation of people in history. America is a shining city on the hill. Our forefathers lit a torch and held it high for the world to see. Our country has had a rough last few years; but we are America. We will come out stronger than ever before. It is our turn has a people to take that torch our founders lit and create a better America; an America true to our values and the values and ideals addressed in the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence. Some say Romney needed a so-called ‘Reagan Moment.’ I believe this was that moment.

The debates are over. There are only 14 days until the election; 2 weeks until America makes the most important decision we’ve made in decades. We are at a critical point in our history. We have two distinct paths to take. Which torch will we grab a hold of and move forward with to make America a land where our children can truly become anything they want? That is the question we must ask ourselves.

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