On October 2, the day before the first debate, Mitt Romney trailed Barack Obama in the Real Clear Politics poll average by 3.3 percentage points. Today, just before the second debate, Romney led by 0.4 points—almost a 4-point swing in two weeks. What now?
A strong moment from Mitt Romney in tonight's debate when he went over President Obama's unkept promises and concluded, "The president has tried, but his policies haven't worked." Romney also said, "This is a president who has not been able to do what he said he'd do."
In 2008, Barack Obama promised to cut federal spending, cut wasteful programs, reform Medicare and Social Security, and create "5 million new jobs" in a "new energy economy." At Buzzfeed, Andrew Kaczynski has four videos of Obama making those promises at the town hall debate in 2008. Here, for instance, is Obama talking about the need to reform entitlements in his first term:
As Mike Warren highlights, moderator Martha Raddatz apparently didn’t think Obamacare was important enough to make the cut as one of the nine topics she brought up during the vice presidential debate. Two other closely related topics that didn’t make her cut were federal spending and the national debt. Anyone who had been asleep for four years before waking up and tuning in would never have guessed that Obamacare, rampant federal spending, and unsustainable federal debt had given rise to the Tea Party and had propelled the GOP to gains of 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats in the 2010 elections.
Watching last night's debate, I'm more struck than ever that Obama may be able to fight the economic policy issues to a draw. Romney-Ryan still haven't answered the blame-Bush narrative, and that combined with scaring people about Romney-Ryan on taxes and entitlements have probably pulled Obama-Biden up to a parity on the economy. And it's hard to see what's going to change that in the final three weeks.
White House records reveal that the moderator of last night's vice presidential debate, Martha Raddatz, visited Vice President Joe Biden at his official residence on March 26, 2012. Raddatz is an employee of ABC News.