… It’s obvious that President Obama did much, much better in the second debate than he did in the first — his answers were crisper and his criticisms of Mitt Romney more pointed. It’s fair to ask where this Barack Obama was two weeks ago, but for Democrats, Obama’s performance was better late than never.
The president won the debate over Romney, although it was not nearly as decisive as the challenger’s win in Denver. Romney got his shots in too, although he also stumbled at times and did not land an effective punch on the president during their exchange on Libya. …
Given the race’s ups and downs, we wonder whether we’re still in the third stage of the campaign — the Romney surge — or whether we’re back in the first phase of the campaign: a narrow Obama edge. Or could we be in a fourth, 2000-like stage — meaning a freakishly close election? [cont.]
Sabato, Kondik & Skelley, U.Va. Center for Politics