Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The First Presidential Debate- It matters!

Tonight brings the first Presidential debate. From 2100-22.30 EST the President and Mitt Romney will meet at the University of Denver, Colorado, to debate domestic policy. This will be a closely watched match up. Contrary to conventional wisdom, the debate will offer Mitt Romney the opportunity to close his polling gap on the President. 

There are two main reasons why Romney has everything to gain from tonight's meeting.

1) The debate will be the first time that voters are able to see Obama and Romney in side by side contrast. This is important. The polls show that while some Americans regard Romney as aloof and emotionally detached, they largely feel comfortable with the President's personality. I believe that this is largely the result of a very successful (if not honest) effort by the Obama Campaign to paint Romney into a negative caricature. While Romney has made some recent mistakes, I believe that tonight will positively challenge voters to look more carefully at the former Governor and what he would offer if elected. I am confident that Romney will impress.

2) I strongly believe that while Romney's current polled supporters are consolidated behind him, I also believe that a considerable number of those who currently say that they will vote for the President are far less confirmed to pursuing that course of action - this is reflected in Obama's fluctuating poll figures. These swing voters have yet to be convinced that Romney can offer real, positive change. For them, Obama is the safe but unsatisfying bet. Tonight offers Romney a clear opportunity to re-calculate this enthusiasm equation. He needs to show his quiet warmth and resolve. He needs to show that he has the leadership potential and the ideas to bring get America back on track.

Now the major question. How does Romney win the debate and effectively begin to persuade voters to move out of the President's camp? The answer is simple. Romney must clarify the choice for voters. For me it's clear. A clear choice of more government interference, more taxes, more spending and more debt under Obama II. Or, an alternative choice of less government, a simplified pro-growth tax code with lower rates, alongside a government that seeks to empower rather than control the private sector. 

The facts are on Romney's side. This economic recovery has been the slowest in American history. The President's stimulus has spent hundreds of billions of dollars for very little return. In addition, while the President is great at bailing out the Unions, but he isn't so great at supporting American business. The unemployment rate remains seemingly immovable above 8.4%, each month thousands of workers are giving up looking for work and many thousands more are having their hours cut. Further, over the last four years, the public held national debt has grown by around $5.3 trillion (more than under Bush's two terms in office). And yet, the President's only solution to the debt crisis is to unleash demagogues and unveil budgets that get an 'F' for their math. This is a President without a record to run on. Romney needs to counter the false narrative of 'hope and change' with facts and alternatives.

Tonight's debate offers Romney a major opportunity that he needs to grasp. It's game time.
CNN - Presidential Debates - Important?

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