By Brian Chekal
Last week’s presidential debate between Former Governor Mitt Romney and President Obama seemed pointless at the time. The general consensus in the media was that the President was lackluster in his performance, giving Mitt Romney a crucial chance to redeem himself from the missteps of the previous week. However, despite being doubted by many on both sides of the aisle, Mitt Romney seems to have capitalized on his stunning performance, converting his momentum into poll numbers. What really happened during the debate? What were its effects on the tightly contested election?
After every fact was checked and every move analyzed by those in the media. Both sides made broad claims that had many an eyebrow raised. For example, Obama claimed that his administration created more than 5 million jobs, only to have CNN prove that of the 4.4 million jobs that he had created, his campaign did not subtract the 4.3 million jobs that had been lost. This 5 million job creation claim was, in reality, nothing more than 125,000.
Romney too, is not one to brag given the fact that his joblessness claim also stretched the numbers a little too far. What he claimed was 23 million unemployed Americans included those who had given up on looking for a job, those who are working part time but want to work full time, and also those who are actively searching for a job.
However, the President’s tepid responses to Governor Romney’s claims and attacks had many disappointed. Many in the left were bleating in disdain, Pew poll numbers showed that 66% of Americans thought that Romney had done better compared to just 20% for Obama; they had expected the President to come out strong on Romney’s supposed disregard for half of the American voters. When faced with a performance that failed to impress, the left erupted into panicked cries for President Obama to wake up. As for the right, the energy was tangible as hope in their once ignored candidate was rekindled.
This fiery revival was evident in the most recent poll released by the Pew Research center. The poll was administered to 1,511 likely adult voters and was conducted between October 4-7. The poll showed that Romney had risen a stunning 6% in the polls, leading against Obama 49%-45% respectively. These same numbers had shown Governor Romney trailing Obama 51% to 43% just weeks before. The recent debate, and its effects, have once again proven how volatile an election, can be. A winner one day can be a sore loser the next.