Obama lost first TV battle – but he’s still on course to win the war

Derek Mooney Public Affairs

My analysis of Wednesday night’s US Presidential Debate from tonight’s Evening Herald (Oct 4th 2012) .


Before last night’s Obama/Romney debate the American political rulebook said that debates do not swing elections. While the debates can give a candidate a short term bounce, the trend after the debates tends to be the same as the trend before them.

Without a doubt Romney had a good night. But nothing happened in Denver to change the political rulebook. While commentators, especially the network TV ones, like to think that TV debates swing elections, the reality is that they haven’t.

Yes, there have been some incidents like President Bush Sr’s constant looking at his watch at the 1992 debate or President Ford’s assertion in the 1976 debate against Jimmy Carter that eastern Europe was not dominated by the USSR, but none of these reversed the course of the elections.

Bush Sr had…

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