Obama Won the Presidential Debate: Romney Momentum Stopped

The second presidential debate has come to a close, and President Obama can rest easy knowing that he brought his A-game to Long Island. The president was the winner of this contest, having had what was perhaps one of the best debate performances of his career. On stage, he appeared more poised and less flustered than his Republican counterpart. 

This seems to have resonated with the American people. In a CBS News Instant Poll, "37% of respondents say President Obama won the second presidential debate [and] 30% say Romney won with a margin of error of four points." 

While Governor Romney' talking points were relatively gaffe-free (save the reference to "binders full of women" that made much of America cringe), many of his statements were "on the wrong side of the angry/passionate divide." 

With only three weeks to go before Election Day, most Americans have heard the talking-points, the half-truths, and the rebuttals from both the President's and the Governor's campaigns ad nausem. Tonight, America was looking for a leader on stage who hasn't veered from his positions and is able to connect with voters. And that leader was, in fact, already the leader of the country. Said Obama campaign manager Jim Messina, "The American people saw their leader tonight--a strong, steady, and decisive president."

The Washington Post put it best in their post-debate analysis when they reported that "debates are about moments...and President Obama had three." Tomorrow, both America's decided voters and undecided voters (though are there even any left at this point?) will be talking about Obama's zinger on the size of Romney's pension, his leadership in the Rose Garden following the attacks in Libya, and his bulls-eye closing statement nailing Romney for his unfortunate 47% comment

But, as to be expected, both sides have claimed to have emerged victorious. Come tomorrow afternoon, the focus will have already shifted to debate number three on October 22 in Boca Raton, Florida. 

Check out my live blog of the second presidential debate as I covered it from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

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Danielle Schlanger

Graduate student at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs.

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