Actually I didn't watch the first 2012 debate either-- too much tension. This time much too much tension -- I didn't even watch my twitter stream. The left blogosphere is delighted sure that Obama demolished Romney In contrast the CBS instapoll showed a narrow 37 to 30 win.
I try to avoid making predictions but I will predict 2 things. First CNN/ORC will have a panel poll in which they interviewed people before the debated and by now probably have interviewed the subset who agreed to be interviewed and actually picked up the phone and answered too. Second more of the re-interviewed few (order of 3 to 4 hundred I predict) will say Romney won than will say Obama won. I predict this because I am a fool and will never learn that all my predictions are wrong so I should keep my blogger window closed and be thought a fool rather than typing and removing all doubt. Oh and also because the re-interviewed few are older than those who don't agree to be re-interviewed or can't be contacted or just change their mind about whether to bother answering the questions. A panel is very useful, but the second wave is not likely to be a representative sample (and CNN/ORC can't weight to match the debate audience and get numbers out fast -- before not after Nielson gets their audience ratings out).
Update: my almost perfect record of wrong predictions (except I nailed the 2010 Senate election) is untainted. CNN?ORC gets a narrow Obama win (and by the exactly exact same margin as CBS)
Forty-six percent of registered voters who tuned in to Tuesday night's town hall debate in Hempstead, N.Y. declared President Barack Obama the winner, according to a snap poll from CNN and ORC International. The poll shows that 39 percent of voters who watched the second debate said Mitt Romney topped the president. Obama's 7-point edge over Romney is within the poll's margin of error.
When will I ever learn to not make predictions in public ? I'd type "never" but that would be a prediction made in public.
OK the big debate event seems to have been the moderator Crowley saying Romney's claim of fact was false and Obama's true. The argument was about when Obama publicly called the terrorist attack on our Benghazi consulate terrorism (correct answer -- the day after the attack when he first publicly spoke about it). Here I think Romney's problem is that he wasn't lying. He said he wanted the dispute of fact on the record because Obama first called it terrorism 2 weeks after the attack.
Clearly Romney must have believed this, otherwise he wouldn't have stressed the disagreement and made a specific claim.
Now this sure isn't like Ford saying Poland is free (I did watch that debate). It absolutely provides no evidence that Romney is a liar. This makes it unusual, since he usually at least dissembles and lies very often (much more often than Nixon if I correctly recall campaigns when I was 7 and 11 years old).
What went wrong with the #Romneystrength through deceit strategy ? How did he let himself make a clear specific verifiable claim about recent events which captured the nations attention ?
I think partly the problem is the conservabubble eco chamber. In Republimerica it is well known that Obama blamed the guy who made the crappy anti Mohamed film and claimed a long planned al Qaeda attack was second degree murder. An alternate reality is useful -- it contains the fired up base which actually votes and maybe convinces friends and relatives. But it is unwise for a candidate to live in the paranoiland as he has to venture out into the reality based reality to debate.
Another problem is falling for their own spin. Republicans and the Romney campaign have been strategically claiming (aka lying) that there is something scandalous about the fact that Obama and the CIA didn't know all about the planning of the attack the instant it happened (frankly I personally guessed that it was a long planned attack and had nothing to do with the crappy film and little to do with violent protests in Egypt -- but I didn't say that in public because uh search up for "remove all doubt"). This is an absurd dishonest argument, but uh method acting uh. Even Romney gains by convincing himself of his lies.* Arguing that not knowing everything instantly is a cover up is dangerous. It is hard to keep a strategic (lying) distortion of reality strategic. The Romney campaign convinced Romney of a falsehood by trying to cleverly mislead.
Oh also arrogance. No not mine Romney's. He was sure that he was as expert on what Obama said when as Obama was. A lot of his success in debates (also in the primaries) is based on his projecting confidence. It makes his claims more credible. More importantly people want that in a president. It is costly when it turns out that it is vanity and not justified confidence. I think Romney has become to used to being in a position of power where his word is decisive even if he doesn't know what he is talking about. I also think that Obama does not have this problem in spite of living in the White House for 3 years and 8 months.
So what's with Obama ? How does he keep his ego under control ? Add this to the long standing unanswered question of how the hell does he keep his pants on when hot babes are begging to screw him. He's very confident and he is willing to listen and learn. How did that happen ? Are there any other people like him ?
*not much I think he can lie without any of the usual symptoms, that is I think he is a psychopath (talk about removing all doubt that I am a fool -- I am now making a psychological diagnosis based on what others saw on TV when I wasn't watching).