How Will Romney Fare In A Town Hall Debate?
Debate #1 went to the challenger as it always does. History on second debates are more mixed. Senator Kerry and then-Governor Clinton built on their first debate victories in the second debate (with Clinton helped by President Bush checking his watch). Presidents Reagan and Clinton had good second debates and in Reagan’s case, he virtually ended the campaign. The fact that tonight’s debate is a town hall makes it harder to predict, but may cut against Governor Romney.
“He’s done his share of town halls, but a town hall when you’re debating is different than a town hall that’s yours,” said a senior Romney aide. “It’s a town hall where you have only two minutes to answer a question versus a town hall where you can have an honest conversation with somebody about an issue. It’s just different. All of these town halls he’s done [so far] aren’t really typical.”
On the one hand, Romney, like Bush 41, has trouble connecting to people, which makes this a challenge. On the other hand, so does the President. The polls have stabilized where they were pre-conventions, a small lead for President Obama. Romney needs another win tonight but it’s less clear than in debate #1 that he will get it.