Jesse Overholser: Obama faltered, but the game isn’t over yet

Many political junkies have said in the past weeks that President Obama lost his first debate against Mitt Romney. I have to concur.

As a dedicated volunteer and a strong Obama supporter I was disappointed in the President’s performance. I received many angry calls, some people saying that they lost faith in Obama and do not even think he wants to be President anymore. I think these views were drastic and exaggerated. Even the President can have an off night.

Mitt Romney had a very good performance, there is no doubt, but it was not nearly enough to change the trajectory of the race. There are less than four weeks left, and with only five to seven percent of voters who are undecided, Mitt exceeded the incredibly low expectations, but was not able to change the race to the degree he needed to.

Even though President Obama lost the debate on the whole however he won the debate in some very important categories. In a CBS poll conducted after the debate Obama polled very well in these categories: Obama as a strong leader increased from 47 to 59 percent, Obama caring about people that you can relate increased from 53 percent to 69 percent, and probably the most important Obama being clear on what he would do if re-elected jumped from 35 percent to 65 percent, far exceeding Romney on this very important measure. Romney’s polling increased only from 22 percent to 54 percent, showing that half of America does not think he is being clear on what he would do if re-elected.

One of the main reasons Romney won the debate is because he straight out lied. He told four major lies about; his tax plan, Obamacare, unemployment, and his health care plan. I will only explain two. He told America that he doesn’t have a five trillion dollar tax cut. Independent economists at the Tax Policy Center concluded that his tax plan would cost five trillion dollars over a decade. He said he “will not reduce the taxes paid by high-income Americans.” Romney has said time and time again that he will pay for his tax cut by closing deductions and loopholes, but has never pointed to a deduction or loop hold in particular. The Tax Policy Center has again concluded that in order to par for this tax cut for the wealthy Romney would have to raise taxes on the middle class.

Two days after the debate the jobs report came out. In that report the unemployment rate dropped below 8.0 percent to 7.8 percent, the first time in Obama’s presidency.  In the local Northwest Philadelphia office this caused a great deal of excitement, and kept things moving. In my opinion it was better for Obama to lose the debate and have the jobless rate go down under eight percent, than for the jobless rate to spike, and the President winning the debate.