President Barack Obama may have won the debate Tuesday night, but not by enough to overcome the advantage Mitt Romney established after the first debate Oct. 3, says star Republican strategist Karl Rove.
In CNN's insta-poll after the second debate, 46 percent of respondents said Mr. Obama did the "best job" while 39 percent chose Mr. Romney, Rove writes in The Wall Street Journal
. And in CBS' survey of uncommitted voters, 37 percent named Obama the debate winner, compared to 30 percent for Romney.
“But to reverse the GOP challenger's momentum, the president required nearly as big a victory Tuesday as Mr. Romney had last week,” Rove states. “He didn't get it . . . The Denver [Oct. 3] debate changed the campaign in a way no other presidential debate ever has.”
In CNN's post-Denver debate poll, 67 percent of respondents believed Romney, while only 25 percent selected Obama. Romney's 72 to 20 percent shellacking of Obama in the Gallup survey after that debate was the biggest margin in the poll’s history, Rove says.
“In his strong presentation in Denver, Mr. Romney did two things that altered, perhaps permanently, the race,” he writes. “By ticking off what viewers saw as a common-sense, practical agenda and then explaining what each of its five elements would do to improve the lives of all Americans, Mr. Romney came across as a man with a plan. He also demolished the image nurtured by the Obama campaign of him as a heartless, selfish plutocrat.”
And at this week’s debate Romney explained how his policies would help the middle class, Rove says. “He was at his strongest when indicting the president's economic record.”
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