Veteran Democratic political consultant Doug Schoen says Mitt Romney clearly emerged as the victor of Wednesday’s debate with President Barack Obama.
“This was a win for Mitt Romney,” Schoen told Newsmax in an exclusive interview. “He controlled the dialogue, he controlled the argument. The president lost his focus midway through, he lost his specificity and precision, and it became a win for Gov. Romney.”
Watch the exclusive interview here.
Schoen found Romney particularly persuasive on the issues of healthcare and the role of government. “I thought he won the debate on those two issues. . . . Bottom line: Gov. Romney avoided being seen as an extremist. He made it clear that he would stand up for the middle class and protect social programs. In that way I think he made a huge step forward.”
Already Romney was benefiting from a reversal in momentum during the past week or so, and the debate helps further, Schoen said.
Still, “I don’t believe it’s a knockout,” the pollster said. “I don’t believe he closed the sale. But I think for the process of convincing the American people that he’s qualified to be president and offering an alternative vision, he started a process that he needs to continue in the next two debates.”
If Schoen is correct, those next two events may be quite important. “In 1984, Ronald Reagan lost the first debate and won the second debate,” he said. “In 2012, the governor has to build on this success, become more specific about issues he didn’t talk about, like jobs, like growing the economy, like how he’s going to revitalize the American spirit. It’s an open question whether he will succeed.”
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