Judging by the first fifteen minutes of the debate, it seemed as though it could have been a strong victory for Romney. He was composed and competent while the President seemed overly aggressive and uncomfortable. That said, Obama calmed down and both candidates were able to remain, generally, calm and polite towards one another throughout the debate.
Romney’s main challenge tonight was to appear Presidential and on equal footing with Obama and it is my view that he did just that. He was clearly prepared and well versed on each of the topics and although he did not speak with the same level of expertise as the President, he surely held his own.
Much like in the first debate, he came across as moderate and centrist. By not differentiating himself from Obama on Iran, Syria and Afghanistan, he came across as balanced and bi-partisan, key qualities that catapulted him to his victory in Denver. Indeed, he appeared calm and in control, just as Americans would hope their commander-in-chief to be.
There are just two weeks to go until election day. Since the first debate, things have been trending Romney’s way. Undecided voters are increasingly interested in what Governor Romney has to say and this debate will not change that. Even if aspects of Romney’s plan remain unclear, the electorate is still willing, and anxious, to hear what he is proposing for America’s future.
We are looking at a tied race at this point with key swing states – Florida and Ohio especially – now moving in the Governor’s direction. Obama may have edged past Romney on points alone this evening, but the Governor showed that he was certainly competent on foreign policy and capable of acting Presidential.
Obama finished with an advantage in tonight’s debate, but whether that advantage is enough to arrest Governor Romney’s momentum in the polls is not yet clear.