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Historic Victory for Mitt Romney - instant data:
Bottom Line: A long time ago I came to the realization that two people watching the same thing at the same time could come to two completely different views of what they witnessed. For that reason I’m not usually one to say – “so and so” won a debate, because of the potential subjectivity. This time was clearly different because the contrast was so stark between the two last night.
I’m going to offer up data rather than my view of the debate but I will offer this perspective. The one personal note I’ll add is this. During the mist of the economic crisis our company as so many in this country went through extremely painful layoffs. At one point in the process when I was trying to come to a final decision about whom we would keep and who would be let go – it became a bit overwhelming. I had people’s lives and careers reduced to a list on a piece of paper weighing the pros and cons of each. I spent time soul searching with my boss. I shared with him how uncomfortable I was with the process because no one on our team deserved what would happen to them. He told me something that made perfect sense in a difficult process. If you were going into war and had to take only (so many) with you, who would they be? That thought helped me complete the process. Some people are just stronger when the chips are down.
What I just shared is what came to mind last night. Mitt Romney was clearly in command and President Obama was clearly defensive and projecting a less confident approach (content of their messages aside). If we as Americans view this difficult economy as “a war” and we can only take one of these two with us as our leader, the choice was clear.
Now for the data. We have three polls from last night. Each showing a record win for a Presidential debate performance. In each it was a 2-1 margin for Mitt Romney.
Any way you slice it Mitt Romney came away big winner. So what does it mean?...
Impact of 1st debates on presidential elections:
Bottom Line: Historically the first debate is the most important. Of voters that have indicated in past Presidential cycles, that the debates were the decisive factor in their voting choice, 75% said the first debate was the most important influence. With that in mind here a bit more for you to consider.
In 2004 John Kerry was trailing President Bush by just over 6% heading into the first debate. Kerry was deemed by 56% of voters to be the winner. That immediately helped John Kerry to the tune of 4 points. Kerry trailed Bush by 2 points after the debates and by around 3 by Election Day (where Bush won with about 52% of the vote).
If a 56% victory in 2004 was enough to net Kerry an additional 4 points, it’ll be interesting to see how beneficial a 60+% win will be for Mitt Romney. Romney went into last night’s debate trailing Obama by just under three percent. If he simply received the same benefit that Kerry did in 2004, last night would be a turning point in this election. If the benefit is to be larger – last night would have been the decisive moment in this election.
In part because I’m a bit sleep deprived and because the debate analysis from above is clearly the most important story(s) I can bring you today, I’ll defer to the video for the remainder of my stories today. Thank you & enjoy your day!