By John Stark
Political analysts of every stripe are weighing in on the significance of the upcoming presidential debate on Wednesday, and the conventional wisdom is that this is Mitt Romney’s best hope to reverse Obama’s recent gains and pick up some momentum in the final weeks before the election.
In the Wall Street Journal, Gerald Seib offers a thoughtful and refreshingly non-partisan overview of the debate. Key excerpt:
“… the difficulty Mr. Romney faces is that the kinds of attacks most likely to change the dynamic of the race or produce a memorable moment also happen to undermine a parallel Romney need, which is to make more voters warm up to him. Even candidates who successfully attack in a debate often make themselves less likable in the process. And Mr. Romney doesn’t have much likability to spare. On the other hand, he has less to lose at this point, which can be a liberating condition.”
In the Boston Globe, Callum Borchers notes recent poll data that shows Obama widening his lead over Romney in key swing states, even as the two men appear to be neck-and-neck in the overall popular vote.
Borchers offers this quote from New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, predicting that the debate will shift many voters back to Romney.
“You saw the change in those polls happen very quickly, and I’m here to tell you this morning it can happen very quickly back the other way,” Christie said. “And I think the beginning of that is Wednesday night, when Governor Romney, for the first time, gets on the same stage as the president of the United States, and people can make a direct comparison about them and their visions for the future.’’
BTW– if you or your organization is planning any kind of public-invited debate-watching event in Bellingham and Whatcom County, feel free to post that info here as a comment.