President Barack Obama and Republican candidate Mitt Romney turned up the aggression in the second presidential debate. However, voters seem to have given a slight advantage to Obama, who actually showed up this time.
It might not have been immediately clear who won the second presidential debate between Republican candidate Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, but one thing was: this time Obama came out fighting to save his campaign.
In the second presidential debate, Obama was actually an opponent for Romney to spar with, and he wasn’t the only one — Romney often found himself pushing against the unyielding moderator.
Obama’s dismal performance in the first presidential debate garnered criticism from all ends of the spectrum, leaving some to wonder if he actually could be re-elected. However, the Obama is staged a comeback following Vice President Joe Biden’s fiery debate against Romney’s running mate, Paul Ryan.
Image copyright Mark Abraham/www.debates.org
In the aftermath of Tuesday’s debate the edge seems to have gone to Obama, although by how much is arguable. CNN’s poll showed 46% thought Obama won the debate to 39% for Romney. Left-leaning Public Policy Polling took a snapshot in swing-state Colorado where voters thought Obama beat Romney 48% to 44%. Colorado independents gave Obama an even bigger win, 58% to 36%.
However, CBS’ poll showed a more uncertain result. On the issue of the economy, 65% said Romney won and only 34% of voters said Obama won. This is important considering voters overwhelmingly say that the economy and jobs are the most important issue of this election, according to a study by the Harvard School of Public Health.
During the debate, Romney brought up Obama’s economic record for voters to consider: 15 million more people on food stamps, slow economic growth and a lack of jobs over the last four years.
“The middle class is getting crushed under the policies of a president who has not understood what it takes to get the economy working again,” Romney said. “He keeps saying, 'Look, I've created five million jobs.' That's after losing five million jobs.”
CBS’ respondents were far more split on the overall outcome of the debate, with 37% saying Obama won, 30% for Romney and 33% calling it a tie.
In the debate on Tuesday, Obama showed much more life than in the first debate, where he often kept his gaze down and allowed Romney to control the time (with no help from moderator Jim Lehrer).
Perhaps the most heated moment of the second presidential debate came on the topic of domestic energy. The two candidates were very aggressive, but offered no sources for why Romney claimed oil production on government land was down, while Obama said it was up. (Watch the sparks begin to fly at 1:30 in the video below.)
They also clashed over the auto industry.
"He keeps saying, ‘You want to take Detroit bankrupt,’” Romney said in the debate. “Well, the president took Detroit bankrupt. You took General Motors bankrupt. You took Chrysler bankrupt. So when you say that I wanted to take the auto industry bankrupt, you actually did."
Circling one another on the stage, Obama responded.
"What Governor Romney said just isn't true,” the president said. “He wanted to take them into bankruptcy without providing them any way to stay open. And we would have lost a million jobs."
Obama used Romney’s 47% remark against the Republican candidate in this debate and likely gained back some women voters by mentioning his daughters and grandmother, while Romney made an awkward statement about “binders full of women” when discussing hiring more women when he was governor. Subsequently, one of the top 10 most common trends on Twitter was #bindersfullofwomen.
Romney’s tactics that allowed him to handily win the first debate — namely being aggressive and taking more time than allotted — didn’t work as well this time around. Not only did he have to contend with a livelier Obama, but moderator Candy Crowley didn’t step down like Lehrer in the first debate.
Conservatives took offense to the way Crowley handled the debate, according to Business Insider. Particularly, they were furious over the way Crowley fact-checked the debate, interjecting when Romney claimed it took Obama two weeks to declare what happened in Libya a terrorist attack.
Crowley also attempted to stay firm on time limits and actually pushed back against both candidates as they spoke over one another.
After the debate on Tuesday, Obama’s re-election odds have increased. Business Insider reported that Citi Research’s global political analyst, Tina Fordham, wrote a note that Citi is sticking with an Obama victory despite the close race.
“Obama's advantages remain substantial, as an incumbent president in an improving economic environment,” Fordham wrote.
On InTrade, Obama’s chance of winning re-election rose from 62% before the debate to 64.9% on Wednesday morning, while Romney’s chances of winning dipped from 38% to 35%. According to Business Insider, betting odds on Obama’s re-election improved at bookmakers Ladbrokes and William Hill.
The third and final presidential debate will take place on Monday, Oct. 22 at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla.
So how did you think the second presidential debate went? Which candidate won? And how was moderator Candy Crowley? Let us know in the comments!
Watch Barack Obama and Mitt Romney Take Off the Gloves in the Second Debate — Business Insider