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October 17, 2012


More Reaction to the Second Presidential Debate

The instant polls all found Obama won last night's presidential debate: CBS News had Obama beating Romney 37% to 30%, CNN found Obama won 46% to 39%, and a Lake Research poll in the battleground states found Obama up 53% to 38%.

Nate Silver cautions: "The relationship between the quick-reaction polls and their eventual effect on the horse-race polls has historically been very modest, and has sometimes even run in the opposite direction of what the initial polls suggested."

Here are some other reactions:

Andrew Sullivan: "To my mind, Obama dominated Romney tonight in every single way: in substance, manner, style, and personal appeal. He came back like a lethal, but restrained predator."

Joshua Green: "I thought Mitt Romney's second debate was nearly as bad as Barack Obama's first debate."

Alex Pareene: "Obama clearly prepared for his Libya response. Romney makes a dumb mistake: Obama says he spoke in the Rose Garden after the attack and called it an act of terror. Romney says "no you didn't." Obama says "get the transcript." Crowley says 'he did.' The audience applauds Crowley live fact-checking Romney. Like, twice. They applaud twice. Romney stutters through the rest of his response, and it doesn't matter what he says: He just got fucking destroyed. By the audience, basically."

Rick Klein: "Not until an exchange on Libya -- close on the heels of a petty-but-buzzy attack on pension size -- did the president hit a stride in tonight's debate... The president took a subject that should have been a sore spot and turned it around. He was having a decent debate to that point, but that exchange -- including his call for a fact-check on when he labeled Benghazi a terrorist attack -- made it something more than that, the victory his campaign desperately needed."

Greg Sargent: "This race will still be the dead heat tomorrow that it was yesterday, but Obama made big strides towards turning things around tonight."

Joe Klein: "Most political debates are like this. There aren't very many clean wins or losses. The candidates work on the audiences they've targeted-women for Obama; small business for Romney-and few minds are changed. The number of minds that are changeable at this point in this race is so miniscule that I can't guess which candidate did better at influencing the truly undecided-which is why I can't say who won."

Mike Allen: "Last night was Governor Romney's last, best chance, because the next debate is foreign policy, where President Obama is strong. But at the town-hall debate, Romney discovered one of the basic precepts of military science: You only get one sneak attack! We now have a tight, three-week race that either man could win, depending on events and the subtle electoral ecology of Ohio and Virginia. But at least in obvious rewards, Obama got a ton more out of last night than Romney did."














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