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Recap of presidential debates; Obama vs. Romney

Tiffany Holtgraves, Reporter
November 2, 2012

The power of one vote has never been more apparent, with only days left in the 2012 presidential campaign, both President Obama and Governor Romney are working every day to win over voters and convince them that they each have the right vision for the future of this country.

Laura Dickson, political studies senior, said, “I have decided. But I also think that the candidates need to be more explicit in defining what their plans are.”

After three debates, the nationwide polls show the race is closer than ever.

“Neither candidate made any big mistakes,” Bryan McQuide, professor of political science, said.

The first debate resulted in an overwhelming majority of Americans saying that Mitt Romney had walked away the winner. According to a CNN poll of 430 adults, 67 percent thought Romney had won.

The second debate, which was done in a town hall meeting format, allowed an audience of undecided voters to ask Obama and Romney their questions face to face.  The results of this debate were much closer than the first, but Obama came out with a slight advantage over Romney.

The polls after the third debate, which focused on foreign policy matters, showed independent voters favored Obama over Romney, 56 percent to 27 percent.

If it seems like there have been more ads and more Iowa visits from the candidates lately, that is because Iowa is one of a handful of states that could potentially decide this election.

While the polls in Iowa show Obama maintains about a three-point lead, the national polls show a much tighter race.

“We are in a statistical dead heat, it’s going to be a nail biter,” McQuide said.

This raises the issue of why every vote counts.  Data shows that in some of these battleground states, the results could come down to a difference of just a few thousand votes.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in the 2008 presidential election, the 18-24 age group still had the lowest voter turnout of any group in the country.

“If they (young people) don’t vote, the policy makers won’t listen to them,” McQuide said.

Some of the issues young people seem to care about the most are the cost of higher education, job opportunities and the economy.

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