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Debate Data: To Regain The Lead, Obama Must Listen To These Swing Voters


Debate Data: To Regain The Lead, Obama Must Listen To These Swing Voters


When Barack Obama and Mitt Romney met for their first debate one week ago, we were there — in the swing-voting state of Colorado — to track voters’ opinions during the debate.

Based on dials that voters used to register their real-time reactions and post-debate interviews, the results of our research were lackluster, at least for the president. During the debate, the dial lines fell flat when the president emphasized the progress his administration had made over the last four years.

By contrast, Romney performed well among independents when he talked about his plans for the future and the middle class. In our post-debate focus groups, voters told us they were “surprised” by Mitt Romney and “confused” by the president.

This was a different Barack Obama (and definitely a different Mitt Romney) than we had observed in September. Following the party conventions, our tracking showed stronger margins for President Obama, although the race remained close. And then Mitt Romney’s “47 percent” video suddenly appeared on the Mother Jones website. For many voters, this footage really changed the choice and the stakes.   We saw the poll numbers move decisively in Obama’s direction and against Romney.

On the eve of the first debate, half of all voters (50 percent) gave Mitt Romney a negative rating and the president took a commanding lead on the ballot—leading by 7 points nationally and 6 points in the battleground states. More voters said they trusted Obama on key attributes that predict their choices—focusing on issues important to ordinary people and making the right decisions to address big national problems—and he had pulled even with Romney on issues where he had previously trailed, including the economy.

But the trend in the polls has changed course in the week since the debate. What happened? In the first debate, the president touched on none of the themes that had fortified his lead in the post-convention period—focusing on the future, emphasizing economic policies that build the middle class, and clarifying the choice over the “47 percent,” which Bill Clinton had summed up at the convention: Democrats believe “we’re in this together”; Republicans say, “you are on your own.” In many ways, Obama let Romney own the future and the middle class in the first debate.

We saw the results on the dial lines in Denver. And we have begun to see the impact in the polls. To win over swing voters and energize his base to turn out, the president needs to speak to these themes clearly, meaningfully, and emphatically.  He needs to stand up for, and advocate policies to advance, the so-called “47 percent.”

The “47 percent” theme works because voters believe that if it was more than a simple gaffe, it revealed something important about Romney. It also works because Democrats can  offer a powerful contrast: Medicare, Social Security, taxes, and a political outlook that rejects the “you’re on your own” economics advanced by Romney, Paul Ryan, and the Congressional Republicans.

Barack Obama has the chance to make this election about a country and an economy that works for all Americans.  If he does that, Mitt Romney will not win.

Why is the “47 percent” so powerful?  Our extensive research shows that voters—the elderly on Social Security, unmarried women, young people, veterans, the working poor, and even those in the middle class—strongly identify with the “47 percent.” During focus groups in both Columbus, Ohio and Fairfax, Virginia, participants instantly identified with the “47 percent.” When asked about Mitt Romney’s comment on the “47 percent,” participants quickly responded with disgust and then explained, “he’s talking about me.”

 It’s hurtful. I am probably one of them 47 percent. By speaking of that 47 percent, he’s probably never been in that 47 percent… I work and pay my taxes. I wake up at 4:30 every morning, feed my kids and go to work. (Swing voter, Columbus, OH)

He’s putting me down.  (Swing voter, Columbus, OH)

[He’s talking about] us. Probably everyone in this room. (Columbus, OH)

 I’ve worked and I paid into that Social Security. I started working at 15. I paid into that. (Columbus, OH)

[The 47 percent is] us. Normal people. Who may have jobs, who need some assistance. (Columbus, OH)

There are a lot of people out of work who can’t find jobs. I spent 8 to 10 hours a day looking, and the state of Virginia doesn’t really provide a huge amount of unemployment insurance. And hearing from some people in the media and politicians saying they are lazy, it’s not true. (Fairfax, VA)

And these same voters expressed disgust at Romney’s inability to understand middle class and working people’s everyday realities.

 The tone is so accusatory and so demeaning. Rather than talking about helping people. It’s not about lifting them up, it’s about dropping them down. (Columbus, OH)

Where’s the compassion? (Columbus, OH)

He doesn’t know who those 47 percent are. Most of them are working people, the working poor, they get up and go to work every day.  (Columbus, OH)

Using the word ‘entitled.’ I hate that word. He makes 47 percent sound like spoiled brats who sit at home and do nothing. It shouldn’t be a dirty word but it is. That word really got to me. Like these people are so entitled. (Columbus, OH)

My mom was embarrassed to use food stamps. If she wouldn’t have had them, she wouldn’t have eaten. The woman couldn’t help it. It just bothered me that yes, it was a safety net, but she had enough going on that she didn’t need more problems. She was never comfortable with it, ever. (Columbus, OH)

These people feel they are entitled to food?! To housing?! These stupid stupid poor people feel they are entitled to food!  Shame on them! (Fairfax, VA)

He is saying he doesn’t care. It makes you take a step further—does he care about anyone at all? (Unmarried woman, Fairfax, VA)

And these voters were especially upset when they thought about it in terms of their elderly parents and relatives on Medicare and Social Security, or students who need loans to pay for education, or those who are disabled and require some assistance just to get by.

 A lot of them are retired. After my dad died, we had to get my mom food stamps. That’s 20% of the 47.  (Columbus, OH)

Who are the people who pay no income tax? You could be a student and pay none. Or an elderly person on Social Security. (Fairfax, VA)

They aren’t all people in poverty.  There’s middle class people.  People on disability.  Veterans.  It’s not a lot of people cheating off the system.  It’s a lot of people. (Columbus, OH)

To come back strong, the president must address future policy choices in a much bolder way—and he must make this election about choosing a country that stands up for and elevates the 47 percent versus a country that tells its seniors, veterans, the working poor, the disabled, and, yes, the struggling middle class: “You are on your own.”



  1. Smeagel4T October 10, 2012

    You sent this to the White House, right?

    1. Bert Matias October 11, 2012

      Yeaahh- the O team better get him prepared BETTER this time; bring enough NoDoz, Ambien, pump him up with RedBull, whatever and not let that f_cking a-hole, lying, switchposition-face, twit-face mechanical robot get away with anything next time around!!!

  2. Shuruppag October 10, 2012

    The whole thing’s been oversold, but Obama did kinda blow it. Romney was hardly Cicero. He was just awake, unlike Obama who was a total dud. At the time I remember saying, “this is a total wash, a non-event” because it was just so boring to watch. But I guess I was wrong about that last part. It really has re-shaped the numbers, whether you like it or not (I don’t), whether you think it’s justified or not (not really). I think it may have been partly a strategic choice, to play defense and not make any waves, but it backfired hideously. Plus I wanted to see him rip Romney’s fucking head off on national TV. No dice. Sigh…some things about being a Democrat never seem to change…

    1. blubro3 October 10, 2012

      I had the same opinion as you, it was boring and way too many numbers, etc. But I didn’t think it was such a blow out for Romney, its just that the media is feeding on this story because that is what they do. Thing of it is, in about three days Romney will say something dumb and they will feed on that for a while again.

    2. MRD1056 October 11, 2012

      Shuruppag I wanted to see him attack Romney as well. I fear if he doesn’t he will never full energize the democratic base. He needs to step up and take the fight to Robmoney. If he doesn’t he will lose this election. God help us if that happens!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Richard Bernier Fuller October 10, 2012

    The problem for the president was that he was as always polite, honest and for “we the people”. The president should never allow anyone to get away with the Baloney that Mitt Romney was spouting during the debate. That was not a debate that was either just a suit on a soapbox making things up as he went along or just another out and out liar on most of the issues he managed to read from the paper napkin he slipped out of his pocket. Our president can still speak softly but be willing to carry a big stick to be used appropriately.

    1. frida October 12, 2012

      I agree with you Richard the President has always been polite. Thats the way he was brought up like the rest of us. BUT and a BIG BUT, he is not going to allow this to continue. While reading his book “Dreams from my father”, there is a paragraph where he stated what he was taught by his Indonesia step-father how to fight back. I can assure you, he is not going to be Mr. Polite anymore.

      1. Fern Woodfork October 12, 2012

        Yes It’s Time To Go H.A. M. On Romney Nail Him On All Those Lies He Has Been Telling Shut The CON MAN DOWN!!!

    2. Fern Woodfork October 12, 2012

      It’s No Time To Be Nice We Are At War People Our Own People Have Declared War On Us!!! Time To Clean House People VOTE!!! Obama/ Biden 2012 Time To Get These No Good People Out Of Office They Only There To Help The Rich People And Themselves!!!

  4. dontyouletthem October 11, 2012

    I agree with the prognosis that the President seemed to treat this more like a legal brief than a debate. Romney has a way of sounding like he is saying all the right things, but the policies he espouses (like closing tax loopholes means the middle class loses their mortgage interest deduction and oil companies keep their billion dollar tax giveaway) will come down on the both the 47% and the middle class. The president needs to make this crystal clear. It irks me that the Affordable Health Care Act is called “Obama Care”. Nobody in Massachusetts calls it “Romney Care”…. as 47% of the people would say that Romney doesn’t care… When Mitt says we have the “best” hospitals, doctors and medical technology in the world he is right, but what he doesn’t say is very few of us, him not being one, can afford access to it without insurance. Obscuring the truth is just a polite way to lie.

  5. Regina Carol Moore October 11, 2012

    Mitt’s father paid for his private schooling, and Mitt paid for his schooling with stocks his daddy gave him. Did he feel entitled to that kind of lifestyle provided for him by the sweat of someone else’s work? Did he? I know it’s not a perfect analogy, but Mitt’s entire life was handed to him on a silver platter. He is not in a position to refer to other people as feeling “entitled”.

    1. jnagarya October 15, 2012

      I’m not certain that he’s not in a position to feeling “entitled”. He certainly knows the feeling from personal experience, that he should be an expert on being entitled. The problem is that he also feels only some are rightly entitled.

      And he missed his opportunity during the debate to use his best “zinger”:

      “It’s great not having to work for a living. It gives one the experience of being unemployed.”

  6. Holly Jean Heinz October 11, 2012

    Mitt cheated during the debate and I do not consider him a winner. Since when is cheating and lying rewarded. The president has worked hard to get us moving forward..this Independent recognizes that and I would urge everyone involved to realize that 47% comment…the Big Bird PBS comment is a representation of a complete shredding of 47% (or more) of the people in the area of medicare, education, taxes I could go on. Wake up America…Danger…danger…..MITT is hazardous to your health and happiness!!!

    1. Fern Woodfork October 12, 2012

      But Joe Nailed The Ryan Lying King!!! LOL Joe When Old School On Ryan As Ryan Wolf Down All That Water Cause He Was In The HOT SEAT!!! LOL Obama/Biden 2012 It’s Time To Clean House People!!! VOTE Time To Get Rid Of The Lying GOP/Tea Party Cause They Are Only There For Themselves!!!

      1. Carmella1 October 12, 2012

        I’m glad you notice that too,drinking the water to me is a very nervous person.
        Biden won hands down. Ryan proved to be unable to take over as President
        if something happened to the President Mitt.God forbid! Ryan has a lot of growing to do. I have no fear that Mitt could win,I will call it as it is,Mitt is a liar.Why would anyone vote for a liar, is beyond me.

    2. Dominick Vila October 12, 2012

      I am a Democrat, I support President Obama’s policies, I believe he is a great president, and I plan to vote for him, but I am the first to admit that his performance during the first debate was lackluster and very damaging considering how close the election is and the fact that early voting is already in progress in many states.
      Looking presidential, and not being aggressive or condescending may be good advice under normal circumstances, but when an opponent is destroying your record and spewing falsehoods, being passive can be easily interpreted as not being able to respond to the claims or charges being made against you. President Obama can not afford a repeat performance like the last one. If he does, his candidacy is in serious jeopardy. For that matter, Joe did not present a compelling argument to the Benghazi charges levied by Ryan.

      1. jnagarya October 15, 2012

        Actually Biden did fine on the Libya issue. If an embassy or consulate wants more security, the channel to pursue that is to the dept. within the State Dept. which deals with that issue. One doesn’t ask the President or the Vice-President, on not even the Sec. of State.

        And since then we not only learned that the Administration asked for an INCREASE in funding for embassy sedcurity, but also that the Republicans voted to CUT that funding.

  7. Dominick Vila October 12, 2012

    One of the most fascinating parts of the debates in Colorado and Kentucky was to watch the reaction meter from undecided voters. While I believe Biden won last night, it was readily apparent that many of his arguments fell flat amond that segment of the electorate. President Obama and his team will be well advised to analyze those readings and adjust their arguments accordingly.

    1. frida October 12, 2012

      Dominick Vila, those who are undecided and reacted on meters during the debates, are just a small portion of undecided. I do believe there are undecided who didn’t participate in gauging still, came to agree with what the President or VP Biden said. This should not worry, every undecided has his own opinion to make a final decision, it is not done in a group work.

  8. deannasser October 12, 2012

    I told my wife yesterday that this is finally boiling down to true philosophy. Are you a true defender of the middle class or are you elitist? Ryan totally lost all points on abortion in the debate while Biden scored. Ryan was imposing his values on others while Biden was protecting freedom of choice. Freedom of choice does not end with abortion debates. It extends to all aspects of life. The GOP does not respect that. The Democratic values do.

    He first needs to quell fears by showing the substantial progress towards recovery in the percentage of unemployment rate. We are well on our way. We were worried about bottoming out within weeks when he took office. We did not. Business loans were not even available. Now they are. People are beginning to hire again. Don’t rely on statistics given to you by people with an agenda. Look around you. America did not bottom out. Those who are unemployed should be frightened to death about the prospect of discontinuing what we are doing and substituting trickle down through the rich in its place.

    The factions that are most resisting Obamacare are the ones you would expect to resist it. They are the ones who were profiting at your expense from a health system that was out of control.

    He must resist two temptations: 1) to be the least bit negative about Romney, and 2) to actually express the ultimate conclusions on us that he thinks we should reach. He should lead us to the conclusion with facts but should let us draw the conclusion for ourselves. If we “earn” the conclusion, we own it. Moreover, we can’t reject what we conclude but we can and will argue with what someone concludes for us.

    1. Dominick Vila October 12, 2012

      The debate on the abortion issue was Biden’s greatest victory. Both are Catholics, both respect their faith, but as opposed to Ryan, Biden scored by saying that while he respects and abides the tenets of Catholicism he will not impose his views on others. That established the difference between a party that while advocating smaller government favors one that imposes its will on the people, and one who respects the opinion and the rights of fellow Americans.
      Biden’s response to Ryan’s claims on the Benghazi issue was disapponting. First and foremost, he should have emphasized that a small contingent of Marines is only deployed in Embassies and never in Consulates like the one in Benghazi. That the presence of Marines in embassies is so small that it would not repel a large terrorist attack like the one in Benghazi, that Presidents must wait until all the facts are known before offering a final verdict on what was behind an act of violence like this one, that deploying U.S. military forces in consulates and other American entities (terrorists could strike U.S. corporations and Americans just as easily as they did a consulate) requires permission from the host country and it is logistically unrealistic. The GOP is desperately trying to establish a parallel between 9/11 and Benghazi, and as absurd as that argument is, they are scoring points among the naive .

      1. Lovefacts October 12, 2012

        I agree with you about Biden winning on the abortion issue. The moment a person tries to legislate when life begins, they are violating the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. We are a nation of multiple religions and atheists and many of these people do not agree with life beginning at conception. The Republicans forget that we aren’t a theocracy, but a democratic republic made up of multiple belief systems.

        You’re absolutely right about where the marines are posted. They are only at the Embassies, not Consulates. If anyone believes that an small, under-armed contingent of marines based at our Benghazi Consulate would have been more successful than Ambassador Stevens’ private security/former Seals—paid for by the US government—than they have never experienced the type of firefight that took place.

      2. brotherscoe October 12, 2012

        Religion push their views on others, have started many wars through out history. Christians embraces the tenets of christ, without pushing it on others. Hypocrites always push laws in your face they don’t like and turn a blind eye to other dispartes against mankind. Good post Dominick!

      3. Joan Maurer October 12, 2012

        I do not think the moderator helped. She seem to have an axe of her own to grind.

        1. jnagarya October 15, 2012

          Martha Raddatz is the go-to journalist on foreign policy in the Middle East. One can’t find a better or more objective journalist.

          She doesn’t have an axe to grind — except when Biden didn’t get to refute Ryan becasue she was pressing Ryan for specifics, which he did not provide. That was revealing.

      4. dotutz October 15, 2012

        It’s like I was telling my Republican gentleman friend, who has daughters, as I do. We are both Catholics, and I believe in Choice, not Abortion but a woman’s choice of how she treats her body, which is hers! Romney/Ryan will take us back to the 40’s and 50’s and the backstreet abortions where women died. I told him his daughters probably believed in birth control and not what the Catholics teach us and he did agree, but still believes in Right to Life.

    2. Nicky Hartzell October 15, 2012

      I totally agree about “boiling down to basic philosophies.” Because Obama was such a megastar in 2008, and the Republicans were jealous (as were some in his own Party), they have tended to make their criticisms directly against the President, rather than the Democratic Party’s philosphy. If there was ever a time when the basic Democratic Party philosophy should outright win the day, it should be now. Back in 2008, very few were aware of the dangerous income disparity and this growing economic trend in the U.S. if nothing was done to put a brake on the rise of an oligarchy, post “trickle-down.” But now they are, much aided by Romney’s 47% remark. The President looks flat worn-out, and I am going to guess that he’s pretty much consumed by Middle East rumblings, rather than debate prep. But what would give him strength and renewed vigor is if the focus were taken off him and put back on policy. It must be terrible to have to endure such endless negativity and racial animus from every corner over years, stirred up by a moribund GOP. The public have already dug the guillotines out of storage and are sharpening their axe against the skewed system and its representatives, but many have been taken in by the conscious conflation by the GOP of many separate ideas: (1) the economic debate, (2) the phony “culture” of oh-so-righteous conservatives, who spout Christianity but fail to act in any way Christian-like, and (3) the racial issue which has sequestered the old “confederate” vote for so many decades. It’s a viscious cocktail, and given the propensity of “Southerners” (I live, here, I breathe here) to never stray from the family vote and think for themselves, we’re in trouble unless Obama comes out swinging for the middle class and takes down the myths built with such care for so long by a GOP relentlessly wanting to “Take Their Power Back.”

      1. William Epperson October 15, 2012

        I’m in the south too, and you are SPOT ON! Joe Biden totally shifted the tone of the campaign after his debate performance, so much so I’m jokingly said, he got “Obama’s MoJoe back on!” Obama MUST MUST MUST (did I say must?) come out for the middle class and find a way to bring about a unified feeling (he’s very good at developing this when he’s around people, that’s why I think the town hall debate style is right up his alley for this). I would LOVE it if he used the Reagan line when Mitt spits out a lie, “There he goes again!” (with a sparkly eyed almost wink and nod to the rest of us to go with it).

  9. Charlie October 12, 2012

    i am amazed that people actually did not see through the lies. Same thing last night, VP Biden should not have laughed, but I could not contain myself either. Yet, I am stunned by the response and how so many people thought Ryan did well. I could not find one point where I agreed or felt comfortable that C Ryan really had a clue of the facts, not political talk. Scared me this morning when I saw so many people concerned about the Iranian Nuclear situation, and my response is ‘what weapon and they do not yet have the materials’. Americans scare me.

    1. jnagarya October 15, 2012

      That Biden smiled is not an issue: it was a criticism of the lies — and we all do the same.

      Pundits need to find something to talk about. If he hadn’t smiled they’d have attacked for that.

  10. Charlie October 12, 2012

    i am amazed that people actually did not see through the lies. Same thing last night, VP Biden should not have laughed, but I could not contain myself either. Yet, I am stunned by the response and how so many people thought Ryan did well. I could not find one point where I agreed or felt comfortable that C Ryan really had a clue of the facts, not political talk. Scared me this morning when I saw so many people concerned about the Iranian Nuclear situation, and my response is ‘what weapon and they do not yet have the materials’. Americans scare me.

    am amazed that people actually did not see through the lies. Same thing last night, VP Biden should not have laughed, but I could not contain myself either. Yet, I am stunned by the response and how so many people thought Ryan did well. I could not find one point where I agreed or felt comfortable that C Ryan really had a clue of the facts, not political talk. Scared me this morning when I saw so many people concerned about the Iranian Nuclear situation, and my response is ‘what weapon and they do not yet have the materials’. Americans scare me.

    1. bfeatherstone October 12, 2012

      I thought Biden’s nonverbal messages on split camera were excellent methods of telling the viewers, “there he goes again with the lies!”

  11. Johnny L Thomas October 12, 2012

    Mitt Romney continue’s to show that he has no idea about the 47% .His measage’s are alway’s over them and the same for the real small business .And he want’s to start war’s yes because he know’s that his kid’s will never be in it .That goes for all people like him .He leave’s us with the feeling that he is above us and never actually reach’s for us.

  12. libragirl61 October 12, 2012


  13. libragirl61 October 12, 2012

    ITs our moral obligation as ALL DEMOCRATS to take a stand against untruths told by Republicans.
    The Republican Party has left America in wars,unemployment and deficits in the last 40 years! Why would America want to trust the richest 3 percent of this country!

  14. John Charles October 12, 2012

    Romney and Ryan have no concrete plans for the future of America; except to cut taxes for the Wealthy. Romney has all his money saved and invested in other Countries but America.

    Romney wants to be President to complete his stature; to take more for himself and give more to the wealthy. If Romney and Ryan are such great christions they would know about “Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, take care of the sick, give drink to the thirsty. What does it profit a man/woman if he/s gains the whole world and suffer the lost of his own soul? I have NEVER seen a Uhaul at a cemetery, because dust to dust, ashes to ashes. Romney could give $30 Million to charity but has no LOVE; he gave nothing. Further more Romney gives charity to save money on taxes.

  15. Helen October 12, 2012

    All Mitt cares about is to fatten his pocket book and take care of the rich and leave the 47 per cent hanging.And his running mate Ryan needs to stop talking.
    No matter what happen God will see this election through.

  16. chipper69 October 12, 2012

    Ryan was not being himself and that showed through. He was taking one for the team. He lost. Had he been himself, and even to the right of Mitt, he would have lost even more severely. The majority of Americans clearly choose Democrat”s values; closing is difficult with the few undecided as they are very low information voters, but unfortunately for Romney, they are part of the 47% and low information because they are working 14 hrs a day to make ends meet and not constantly listening to the bull.

  17. sachfoxo October 12, 2012

    The vice president pushed back and won on points He also smiled every time Ryan Lied which made me laugh and Biden Grinned . LOL Ryan drank more water than my fish at home ..every question ( not one or every 10 minutes …He HAD to drink water due to his Nervousness and changing what was said by him since he was chosen .Biden did not Take ONE drink HMM what was that little puff of hair in the middle of Ryan’s front hairline , Silly young man. Ryan NEVER worked at any job in his life except the one his family Bought for him in the Government, Never sold a Glass of Lemonade . Ryan on NBC was said to be the looser on our economy Issues . I am now going to call Ryan WATER BOY LYAN RYAN. If you Noticed after every Question Ryan answered he took another Drink of water was he Parched from talking longer than allowed. The Moderator was very good. H2O boy just changed all of his prior comments and once again started making up excuses, Born with Silver spoon in Mouth .47% all of a sudden dropped to 30% for the people his partner said was the people That were leaching off the Government ?

  18. Jocho October 12, 2012

    Great night for Joe. When you hear a bunch of malarky, you can either cry or laugh, keep laughing, Joe.

  19. lana ward October 12, 2012

    Have you ever even considered, it just may be Obama and Biden are the liars. Obama failed miserably in his debate, Biden was rude and obnoxious, he interrupted Ryan 82 times. Biden was a rude old buzzard, Ryan was a polite young man. Bidens performance won’t move the polls, he might have made things worse

    1. Justin Napolitano October 12, 2012

      I am going to ignore you lana because you get paid to post. Concider yourself ignored.

    2. jnagarya October 15, 2012

      If one doesn’t reject facts and truth, then one has a standard against which to compare the information one is given.

      If one does reject that standard, then one doesn’t know what to believe. That’s why you believe what you are fed by Wingnut Radio and the FOX sewer: you reject fact and truth.

  20. Maryann Mauro Flaker October 12, 2012

    also consider myself in the 47%. I started work at 13, retired @62. I live on a small retirement and SS…

  21. Judith Sigler October 12, 2012

    I’m sorry Mr. Romney but you are just “TOO INDECISIVE”! And “wishy-washy”. Of course, your 47 % comments are DISGRACEFUL but also your “flip-flop” on Women’s Rights and abortion just makes me wonder “WHAT ELSE IS DOWN THAT PIKE THAT YOU WILL ‘FLIP-FLOP’ ABOUT”. You and your running mate, Paul Ryan, STILL have not laid out any SPECIFICS regarding your “plans”. And you also seem to have the idea that if you were elected you would change things “the next day”~~HHHMMMM! Doesn’t Congress have to support you as well? This isn’t a “one-man” government. As for foreign policies, there, AGAIN, I think you falter. For me, President Obama and Vice-President Biden REALIZE I am not a “free-loader” and I am living up to the rest of my responsibilities as an American in the MIDDLE CLASS! GROWTH IS HAPPENING and I want to let it continue. I want the visions of President Obama and the experience of VP Biden to prevail for four more years.

  22. FAREED511 October 12, 2012


    1. jnagarya October 15, 2012

      George Bush did not stand for what he claimed to believe in: America. Recall him saying, “It’s great to be a dictator. So long as I’m the dictator”?

      He claimed to be a “Born Again” Christian, while implementing torture as official gov’t policy, and by that means lowered the US to the moral level of other torturers, including Saddam Hussein.

      President Obama is the best thing that has happened to the US since at least Clinton. And he is the first US President in history to flip an Arab country — Libya — from enemy to ally.

  23. feeeo October 12, 2012

    It was a great night for the Irish!

  24. laurelwreath October 12, 2012

    I care about my children. I have all their lives. Why do I want them to forgo the safety of Medicare. This voucher system is a road to disaster. I know the rich will always have access to the best health care. But this system will create a devastating choice for our adult children. How will they pay in their retirement years for decent healthcare. I may be safe but they are facing a risk I can prevent.

  25. lady E ''' October 12, 2012

    Governor Romney was never in a position to have to be on his own, to worry about how he was going to make ends meet month after month. therefore he is not relating to the 47% that have to do what is needed to make this country what it is. sice he is not to good in Math 47% of an equation s a big number.

  26. Don Larson October 12, 2012

    Review the Reagan, Bush I, & II, Record for the 20; of the past 32 years. If you, Connect the Dots; here is what the Record of FACTS Show: Three Major Wars, with no way to pay for them; FOUR MAJOR RECESSIONS, which cost Main Street America Dearly; 87, 92, 2001, and, 2008.

    Loosening of Regulations on the Financial Sector, that brought the Predators out on Wall Street; Reagan: “Trickle Down Economics; and, Deficits don’t Matter.” Bush II: two wars – – no revenue to pay for same; the Rich given the Biggest Tax Cut in the Nation’s History, and getting NOTHING in Return – – simply a Gift; a costly Rx Drug Law to benefit Seniors – – no Revenue; biggest Housing Scandal and Fraud in American History – – the Sub-prime Loan fraud, the lies, and sleight-of-hand, tricks; cost – $635 Billion Dollars; The TARP Bailout of Rich Banks, i.e., Banksters; to the tune of $750 Billion Dollars; that, now Former FDIC Chief, said WE DIDN’T NEED! Likely Reason: a, “CYA,” action for both the White House and the Department of the Treasury. Big Banks used the money to pay their Trading Wizards; multi-million dollar bonuses; and, to loan Money to the Rich to Gamble in the Stock Market. Main Street was Raped by the, “Great Wall Street Heist;” in an amount exceeding $10 Trillion Dollars; and, they received NOTHING from the Government.

    Finally, few people know that when Obama was sworn in as President on January 20, 2009; be found a Bush Budget on his Desk for the Fiscal Year, that contained a DEFICIT of One Trillion Dollars! The Bush Deficit was carried forward for the following three years; and, the GOP is trying to Stick that to the President.

    Now, who in their right mind; wants to return to this kind of Governance? Somewhat in Panic, today; the GOP wants to cut the S . . . out of everything, in order to cover-up, or paste over their prior sins. And, no sin was bigger than the Art of BORROWING – – AND SPENDING! If past practice is any indication; one can expect more of the same! If that happens, the Middle Class will join the ranks of the Poor. Vote, “ANYBODY, BUT ROMNEY,’ as his Primary Running Mates advised some months ago. They knew he wasn’t genuine; they knew that he came by the Label of old, “ETCH-a-SKETCH,’ honestly. One must not allow the Rich, Dark Money Cartels win the Election with MONEY! and LIE’S. That’s what will happen, if the American People do not stand up, to defend, what’s left of our Democracy!

    Footnote: There is already, “War Talk,” going on in some Circles. While, it may be good for Business – – especially the Merchants of Death; another War means our Middle Class and Poor will again see, their Son’s and Daughter’s used as Canon Fodder; will the off-spring of the Rich head to the Ivy League, or, Wall Street.

  27. ignore the facts October 12, 2012

    My daughter has received food stamps – and guess what, it’s because she wants to feed her child properly. She has no regular job. She has a master’s degree. You figure it out. Of course some of it depends on the state you live in, and believe me, it’s not easy to move to another state where there might be jobs without a definite job offer. Romney has NO idea what that is like. He nor his family has EVER had to figure out how to survive. He just closes a business and takes his $20,000 per person fired and goes on and does it again. Also, we CANNOT have someone in power who thinks HE and ONLY HE, has the right to dictate his beliefs on all of us. Especially women. Stand up women, do NOT vote for these guys who plan to take away your rights.

  28. Don Larson October 12, 2012

    One must not forget the Romney Agenda – – even though he has tried his best to conceal it.

    1. Eliminate, or Reduce the Size of Education, and the EPA. (The GOP don’t give a, “rat’s ass,” about the quality of Air than our Kids and Grand Kids will have to breathe. One of their, “War Cries,” is, “Frack Baby , Frack.”) And Education? Who cares? Their Kids all go to expensive private schools. The Rich do not want to pay for Public Schools; or, anything, “PUBLIC,” for that matter. They WILL DECIMATE PUBLIC SERVICES!

    2. Regardless of how they are tying to Spin it now; the GOP wants to cut, or reduce, Social Security and Medicare Payments to Seniors. As part of the 47%; most of us have been officially branded as: Moochers, Takers, and Parasites! They have no regard for anyone that can’t fend for themselves.

    3. Believe! The GOP wants to Eliminate or Reduce – – Regulations on other Sectors of the Economy; as they did with the Financial Sector. Their use of the Term of, “Free Market Capitalism,” is a Ruse! THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH CAPITALISM – – ADAM SMITH STYLE! HOWEVER, WE HAVEN’T PRACTICED SMITH’S VALUES, MORALITY, AND PRINCIPLES FOR A VERY LONG TIME! THIS IS ONE OF THE BIGGEST LIES AND REPRESENTATIONS BEING FOSTERED BY THE GOP! ON A DUMB, AND UNEDUCATED AMERICA! Loosening Regulations on other Sectors will unleash other Predators to Pick the Carcasses CLEAN! of both, the DOWNED, AMERICAN EAGLE; AND, THE DYING MIDDLE CLASS.

    4. If the GOP, is espousing the desire to cut Taxes for the Rich; and ELIMINATE Taxes entirely on Corporations; believe me – – they WILL find a way. Old Etch-a-Sketch, and the Kid from Nowhere, can’t back away from those beliefs and goals. If that happens, guess who get’s to pick up the Revenue Slack: Mom, Pop, G-Ma, G-Pa, and Small Businesses.

    When one looks at the FACTS; my voting decision is easy! And, this is all, coming from a 35 year EX-REPUBLICAN, who has done extensive Research, following the BETRAYAL, of/by, what once was – – The Grand Old Party!

  29. Debbie Soares October 12, 2012

    President Obama, has everything going for him. When debating with Roimney, he needs to be just as forthcoming as Biden was on the key points, economy, medicare and social security. He needs to point out how strong his administration has been even with the extreme conservatist in Congress. He has fought every inch of the way for four years, he needs to do the same with Romney. People want to hear what he can do for them. As for the rich, ensuring the tax breaks to end, he needs to ask the question, why not, they have benefited for almost ten years. Be strong Barrack and put Romney in his place. Why does he flipflop on every issue?

  30. AliceR51 October 12, 2012

    Sooo very true Helen.I totally agree.Its a bunch of “bull”from Ryan/Romney.Neither knows anything.Even wathcing the video-on Romney soo stupid,cant get over it.How he Romney in the video of only himself-gave comments on how he was to change things for the country-except-with the 2 sde by side video of himself-changing his comments on what he had just said.??”What were Republicans Thinking-its name-National Memo.There were many small videos showing all Romney-himself & his comments to what he has planned-yet each one side by side-one min-one comment,then next a differnt one-like as if he woke up to smell his coffee-ohh GOD-I didnt say that I said this.CONTRiDICTION- like he couldnt make up his mind on which way to go-or he has some sort of “mental issues””???Unable to remmber what hes choosing??A “switcher””??Which one is the REAL Romney???Is he a Mormon??Mabe he doesnt know??

  31. ledmundo October 12, 2012

    Erika, two things:
    – ObamaCare? Sure, because “Obama Cares!!!” (add this to the Campaing, because one strong point is that Romney obviously does not care. But “ObamaCares”).
    – In order to win about 3 million crucial votes, one thing must be fixed – and it could be done by a simple technicality change – it referrs to Obamas evolutionary position on Gay Marriage: simply DO NOT CALL IT “MARRIAGE” and it will be acceptable by anybody who opposes to “gay marriage”. Call it Gay Union, Gunion, CUBSsp (Civil Union Between Same Sex Peers) – Whatever -and it will have the blessings of most religions and institutions, besides granting all the civil rights the SS couples are after. It will also have the magic to nulify the opposition´s arguments, the defendants of the marriage institution as the union of a man and a woman. This is the missing link on Obama´s position on the issue.
    Will somebody, please, convey this to Obama´s team, or someone nearby? He will thank you. Luiz Souza (my contribution to the public debates, as a recently naturalized American Citizen.)

  32. Lutrell Simmons October 12, 2012

    when you start believing in your own lies you really think that others believe to and romey and ryan has lied so much they don’t know what truth is and i do hope that people are seeing them for what they are thia country will be in big trouble with these two liers

  33. Lutrell Simmons October 12, 2012

    thank you joe for the truth ryan is a lier just like romey this country will be in big trouble with those two they lie so much they don’t know what truth is and i do hope that people see them for what they are some say ryan won the debate but we know that’s a lie biden walked all over him with the truth

  34. akadaka October 12, 2012

    You don’t have to look far to see that 23% of the 47% are under 18 years of age that’s almost half of the 47%. (No one has mentioned that.) Shame on them for being deadbeats. the other Bill Carter

  35. 1standlastword October 12, 2012

    I thought it was sincere and very powerful when Biden, in reference to the Romney 47% comment said, “he’s talking about my mother, my friends, and veterans on the battle field…”

    The conviction on his face, the ire and the force of his delivery was masterful. All Ryan could do was deflect: “we know that things don’t come out alway as they are supposed to”

    It worked…it was cute and he got laughs from the Robme bots in audience but that is a conviction of Romney that Ryan tried to etch-a-sketch away.

    Carville is right.

    Obama needs to expose Romney’ true convictions and bring the 47% comment, and add Ryans 30% moochers comment so Romney and Ryan both stick to their heart felt sentiments like the insects to flypaper

  36. LKW01915 October 12, 2012

    I was shocked that Obama didn’t mention the “47” in the first debate. And I don’t care if Romney has now decided that he made “an error” in saying that. Tough. He said it so he owns it and it should be full game on with that being the topic which Obama focuses on in the second debate. I know a fair amount of people who are usually pragmatic and rational when presented with facts on other issues but when it comes to Obama, they somehow ignore the facts and rational thought goes flying out the window. It seems as if they just hate Barack Obama for no particular reason (well, truth be told? They are racists.) I don’t see that “hatred” toward Romney by Obama supporters. I don’t hate him. I’m not going to vote for him but “hate” him? I don’t but I am absolutely disgusted and incensed with the 47% remark he made. This man (M.R.) has somehow managed to get to where he is with no understanding of the HUGE setup he had. He was born into affluence, educated better than most, didn’t have to PAY for his education himself, was given jobs by wealthy friends of his father, etc. And he can’t recognize this? It speaks volumes of a man with no moral compass. He professes to be a “Christian” but he is certainly not practicing the basic tenets of the Christian faith-one of an understanding and compassion for those who are in need and the idea that to those who are given much, much should be expected for them to give back. And into that 47% goes my father. An 84-year0old man who went to an Ivy League college on an ROTC scholarship and served our country in Korea. With the exception of a mortgage on a house, my father never took money from anyone. He raised 5 children and paid to educate all of us at private colleges. He worked until he was 70 in a family business and saved for his retirement for himself and my mother. Yet HE is in Romney’s “47” because my father collects Social Security-a program that he paid into his entire working life. An educated, hardworking, honest and kind man-my father- has been told in essence that he’s lazy. I don’t hate Mitt Romney but I absolutely no respect for the man.

  37. highpckts October 12, 2012

    I am totally for Obama but I don’t understand why most people will vote against their own best interest! Paper says Romney leading FL! True! What is wrong with people? Even Romney said on Meet the Press he couldn’t fix the mess in 4 years! Did anyone hear this?? Don’t you think if it was in the Presidents power to creat millions of jobs ( especially in an election year) he would have done it? What makes them think Romney can do it?? Give me a break!

  38. TS October 13, 2012


    Obama and Biden are giving Romney a FREE PASS on a lie.

    Romney has NO NEW TAX PLAN.

    Clinton connected the dots that this was a tax cut for the ultra rich AND it has ALL been tried before. It is a return to the Bush policies.

    It’s like Obama is being TOO NICE to want to say this. It is why he is back down in the polls

  39. joyscarbo October 13, 2012

    I’m glad that Biden stood up for women everywhere!!! Roe vs. Wade MUST remain intact. Women MUST be free to choose their own reproductive destiny. My body, my conscience, my soul, NONE of your business.
    If Pro-Lifers want to help decrease the number of abortions that occur, then they need to fund Planned Parenthood and support educational programs that educate about reproduction and the multitude of birth control options.

  40. SPGRiverRat October 15, 2012

    Because I believe in President Obama and believe that his advisors are capable, I have tried to withhold judgment regarding Obama’s first debate performance. It has been agonizing to watch the polls tighten and the commentators yap over the past two weeks.

    If the last debate and Bidden’s performance were the “tee up,” then tomorrow we need to see the power “swing” with the last debate providing that “ping” of a dead-on connection with the American swing voters.

    I’m on pins and needles waiting for the “follow through!”

    Go, team!

  41. Susan Kozloff October 15, 2012

    I truly wish that this election is purely about colliding philosophies….it is first about race and fear.The old white men know that this country is becoming more ethnic and they feel that this is their last chance to take and keep control. How willl they do that? With big money. Their plan is to first bankrupt us with their false tax plan so that they have in their minds a legitimate reason to scrap ALL social and welfare programs and start anew. Believe me, you will NEVER see social security, medicare, pensions, minimum wage,public education nor any other social/welfare programs fought and won over the decades in the mix. They will say that we are bankrupt and we have no money……must start fresh…from zero and that is all you can expect from these hacks. Read Hendrick Smith’s new book..I believe its the Theft of the American Dream or similar. He will lay it all out for you as to what they have ALREADY DONE TO US!!

  42. Susan Kozloff October 15, 2012

    I also can not understand why any union member would EVER vote for these guys as their plan is to destroy your livelihood.

  43. archangelgirl October 15, 2012

    Hope he listens to you!

  44. Midge Martin October 15, 2012

    Have long been a fan of James Carville and his wife. Thanks for offering this service free to th people.

  45. muriel schlecht October 15, 2012

    to Members of Congress: If you voted to cut Medicare and Medicaid, you must stop accepting taxpayer-funded healthcare for yourself and your family. Some of you in Congress must STOP accepting checks from tax-payer funded farm subsidies. You think these are your “entitlements”.
    AND, by the way, NO lifetime retirement tax-payer money unless you serve in office for 20 years or more. No more one-term “wonders” with benefits.

  46. rayvonne r October 16, 2012

    I totally agree that Vice President Joesph Biden won this debate and hope the President will do as well if not better. Romney and Ryan are not being realistic with the average American citizens or United States of Americans; especially on women’s rights and other minorities rights and their way of life. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth and I believe that Romney has never worry about life itself. For a Man such as Mitt Romney avoid the Draft by saying: My Religion beliefs don’t allow me to serve; yet he was out protecting individuals not wanting the Vietnam War; Mitt Romney should shout up his big mouth and being disrespectful to everyone that’s not in his Status Group.


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