Debate shifts momentum
by Sam Hanna, Jr. - posted Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 @ 12:34 pm
It wasn't too long ago that it seemed certain President Barack Obama would be re-elected in November.
At least that's what appeared to be the case in light of the president putting some distance between himself and his Republican challenger, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. After all, polling in the key swing states – Colorado, Florida, Iowa, North Carolina, Ohio and Virginia – indicated Obama was poised to take them all, setting the stage for a landslide on election day, Nov. 6.
All of that changed, though, on Wednesday night of last week when Romney clearly outperformed Obama in the first presidential debate. At every turn and on each topic discussed, Romney did to Obama what the incumbent desperately needed to avoid – he made him look weak.
Prior to the debate, historically Democratic states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin were safely in Obama's corner. That's not the case anymore. Polls taken during and shortly after the debate in Denver tells us all three states are in play, or within the margin of error, which seemed impossible just two weeks ago.
If you care to read the polls yourself, go to www.realclearpolitics.com. You can access polling on just about every state in the Union. Do more than read them. Study them. Look for trends. But you can ignore any poll taken before the first presidential debate. They're irrelevant now.
Meanwhile, post-debate polling shows Romney dead even with Obama in Colorado, Florida, Iowa and Virginia, all must-haves for Romney. North Carolina, a state Obama won four years ago, is trending Republican.
That leaves Ohio, a state Romney must win if he harbors any hope of securing the number of Electoral College votes that's needed to win the presidency. There literally is no other path to 270 for Romney if he can't take Ohio. None.