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Testy debate rematch

Impact on local voters debatable

October 17, 2012
By Sam Shawver - The Marietta Times ( , The Marietta Times

There was plenty of speculation about which candidate would come out on top prior to Tuesday's second debate between President Barack Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.

Many people-including some Democrats-felt the president could have been much more assertive during the first debate on Oct. 3. Obama was in good form during Tuesday's town hall-style, according to Steve Mauser, 40, of Reno.

"I think Obama did a bit better this time," he said. "But neither candidate seemed to be giving direct answers to the questions."

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Mauser said the debate did little to sway his vote.

"I already know how I'll be voting," he said, but didn't reveal how he'll cast his ballot.

Nikki Burchett, 37, of Marietta, said she felt Obama's performance was better during Tuesday's debate.

Fact Box

Final debate

next week

The third and final debate in the presidential campaign is scheduled Oct. 22, from 9 to 10:30 p.m. at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. The topic will be foreign policy.

"I didn't get to see the first one, but from what I heard he did much better this time," she said. "I do like this format better because you get to see the audience asking question-some of the same questions I would ask."

Burchett said Candy Crowley, moderator for Tuesday's debate, did not seem to be quite as organized as Martha Raddatz who moderated last week's debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Paul Ryan.

"I think she's trying, but was not keeping the debate on track," Burchett said of Crowley.

Jessica Moyer, 25, of Marietta said she prefers the format used during the Oct. 3 debate, where the moderator asked the questions of each candidate.

"I think this format is too chaotic," she said. "I don't think the candidates were getting their fair amount of time for response."

Moyer said the format enabled the candidates to walk out and cut each other's comments off.

"Also, because they spent so much time going back and forth, I feel they didn't get to address some of the more important questions that could have been asked," she added. "The first two debates (presidential and vice presidential) were informative, but this was a wash. It was chaotic, which distracted me from the issues the candidates were trying to address."

Marietta College freshman Aaron Dauterman, 19, from Canton, has enjoyed watching the presidential debates in different formats.

"It's interesting to see the candidates in a more informal format-I think the debate seems more relaxed," he said. "This gives the American people a better view of each candidate and the town hall style allows television viewers to see the audience as they ask the questions."

Dauterman said Obama seemed a little more aggressive and driven during the Tuesday debate.

"But that also seemed to hurt him," he said. "At one point, when he was asked about the attacks on the embassy in Libya, he seemed to give the camera a very angry look."

Asked who won Tuesday's debate, Dauterman said he believed Romney came out on top.

"I believe he was able to show people that he's genuinely concerned about the issues facing the country," he said. "He wasn't tensed up and casually responded to questions."

Three weeks out, neither candidate is near to closing the deal, according to the Associated Press which reports national polls are all pointing to a tight race. But multiple polls are showing more enthusiasm for Romney in the wake of his Oct. 3 debate with the president.

Tuesday's latest Gallup Poll indicated Romney would take 50 percent of the vote over Obama's 46 percent if the election was held now, while a Rasmussen Poll shows Romney with 49 percent and Obama taking 47 percent of the vote.

But according to an IPSOS/Reuters Poll, if the election would be held today Romney would garner only 43 percent of the vote versus Obama's 46 percent.



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