Items filtered by date: September 2012 - Duane Cutlip
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 08:00

So He Won. What Did He Win?

After a convincing and unprecedented win in the first debate by Romney, we all knew that Obama would have to make up a lot of ground in the second debate.  We saw a taste in the Vice-Presidential debate between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan.  Personally, I thought Obama would use Joe's performance to recalibrate his own in order to achieve the right level of excitement without going over the top.  I guess that didn't happen...

Obama came out on the attack and Romney rose to match him.  It was an ugly affair, but I don't think Romney had much of a choice but to match Obama's rhetoric and pace.  Of course, all of that is commentary on style, but then again perhaps that's the only reason some folks thought Obama won.

So, what exactly did Obama win?  The CBS News poll shows that 37% of respondents thought Obama won the debate overall, 30% thought Romney won, and 33% hailed it a tie.  It's within the margin of error, but let's give it to Obama.  A 7-point victory still pales in comparison to the 24-point victory Romney garnered in the same poll for the first debate.  It's doubtful even on face value that the 2nd debate will halt or turn around the momentum Romney is enjoying at the moment.

If you look at the "crosstabs" of the poll, you'll find even more devastating news for Obama.  While he barely edged out Romney among people who thought he "won" the debate, it's a completely different story when you go issue-by-issue.  When looking at the other questions within the poll, we find that while folks may have thought Obama won the debate (style), they gave Romney the nod when it came to issues (substance).  Romney won huge points over Obama on the Economy, besting him by over 30 points (65%-34%)! Romney logged similar wins among debate-watchers for Taxes (51-44), the Deficit (59-36), Leadership (49-46), and even Obama's signature territory - Healthcare (49-46).

I would credit him if I could find the article again, but one commenter suggested the result of this poll was like one team scoring all the points, but the other team winning because they looked good in their uniforms.  The Democrats are all out metaphorically carrying Obama through the streets on their shoulders celebrating a "big win".  However, the folks out there aren't going to vote for someone based on how they did in a debate, but where they stand on the issues.  An old phrase echoes in my ears - "It's the economy, stupid!"

Published in Blog
Monday, 08 October 2012 08:00

Everyone Loves Leadership

One thing has been proven in the post-debate analysis - everyone loves leadership.

All of us have given Romney our advice of what he needs to do to win (even if he wasn't in earshot), and pundits have surely had their critical analysis of the campaign.  There are lists of things he needs to do in order to win women, minorities, young people, seniors, and just about any other demographic.  In the debate last week, Romney showed that he was in command of the facts, had a plan, could take control, and was effective at selling and defending his position.  In other words, he demonstrated leadership.  That's something that has been tremendously lacking in this administration and politics in general.

I'll be the first to say that I don't agree with Romney 100%.  You'll remember that a lot of people didn't agree with Jesse Helms completely either, but still supported him.  At the end of the day, none of us will be in complete agreement with our President, but we sure do appreciate when someone steps up to the plate with confidence.  We all want to follow someone who acts like they know where they're going.

Pew's poll shows a big jump in support from women, non-Hispanic whites, and voters under 50.  There was movement among many other groups and across the board everyone agreed that Romney won the debate. Don't celebrate just yet, though.   There's still have a lot of campaign left and we know that the left-leaning pollsters are still oversampling Democrats. Look for them to do their best to erase Romney's post-poll bounce as best they can.

The point is, Romney's key to winning is to continue showing that leadership.  Conventional political thought dictates that he run to the middle and pander to independent voters that the Democrats may be leaving behind. Now that he's got his base on board, advisers are no doubt urging a centrist approach to pick up those needed votes.  I would contend, however, that throughout time it's leadership far more than ideology that earns support. We certainly have to work on getting back to our founders' intent, but right now some competent ANY REAL leadership would be a good step in the right direction!

Published in Blog
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