Michigan State students skeptical of debates’ ultimate impact

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by Kenya Abbott, Jr.

After the third and final debate, many people are going back and forth on who won.

While Mitt Romney entered the debate with a favorable rating. The public view was that saying that he was “presidential.” The buzz, however, is moving back and forth after the last debate with Barack Obama viewed as stronger.

Shawn White, a sophomore at Michigan State University, believes that president Barack Obama may have won the debate overall.

“While he started off shaky, he proved to be more credible and firm,” White said.

According to CNN, forty-eight percent of registered voters who watched the third presidential debate say that Obama won the showdown, with forty percent saying Romney did the better job in a debate dedicated to foreign policy.

The view was backed by a group of students at Michigan State University.

Lauren Jackson, a junior at Michigan State, agreed that Obama should be considered the winner of the debates.

“As a voter, as a student, Obama talked about the issues that I wanted to hear about. He persuaded me that he would do a better job for students,” Jackson said.

Prior to the debates, some of the students were skeptical about what Obama’s performance would be like.

There were a lot of critics and voters speaking out on Obama’s performance, saying that he was not challenging Romney at all.

According to CNN, nearly six in ten watchers said that Obama did a better job in the debate than they had expected.

“After the first debate, I thought that the debates would favor Romney more,” White said. “But after watching the last debate, Obama proved himself.”

However, some critics said that Obama’s efforts in the last debate may not have done enough to win him the debates overall.

According to the website Politico, “that victory may not have been enough to undo the damage done to the president by this year’s debate season.”

But while Obama leads in the polling of firmness, on terms of likeability, Obama and Romney seem to be tied.

“Both Romney and Obama are great speakers, but at times, Obama does come off as frustrated or angry,” White said.

However, others feel that Obama’s firmness shouldn’t determine his likeability at all.
Randall Price, senior at Michigan State, believed that frustration comes with the job of the president.

“Obama should be more likeable because he is firm and frustrated,” Price said.

Will the Debates Affect the Election Outcome?

Regardless of who won the debates, most do not believe that the debates will have much effect on the election at all.

CNN Senior Political Analyst David Gergen, who advised both Democratic and Republican presidents, said, “[Its] striking is that neither the second debate, or the third debate seemed to change the overall race, at least in the early hours.”

Apparently he isn’t the only one who feels that way.

Some students don’t believe that the debates will be having too much of an effect on the election outcomes either.

“Most people had their mind made up before the debates, I don’t think that uncommitted voters will play that big of a role in the outcome,” Price said.

But other students have different views on the effects the debates will have on the election.

“The debates have had an effect of the election polls, so maybe it will have an impact on the election results,” Jackson said.

Since the start of the debates, there have been changes in the polls as well.

While many polls are showing that Obama in fact won the second and third debates, that is not a guarantee that he will win the election come November.

Polls show that show that the margin between Obama and Romney has decreased after the debates.

As of last week, the presidential race is looking closer than before. According to Washington Post-ABC News, Romney is up one percent in the polls.

“I think that the first debate played a crucial role in the polls,” Jackson said.

According to the CBS News poll, prior to the debates, Obama was favored more than Romney by uncommitted voters, fifty-three percent to thirty percent. After the debates, Obama lead sixty-nine percent to sixty-three percent.

It isn’t clear who exactly won the debates overall, with Romney taking the first, Obama taking the last and the second being a tossup.

While Obama may still be holding on to the lead, it is clear that after the debates, this election may be closer than ever.

Both Obama and Romney still have some work to put in.

So who will come out on top in November?

“People just need to get out and vote,” said Jackson. “Only then will we know.”

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