October 22, 2012
President Obama and Mitt Romney held their second debate in the state of New York on October 16. After his weak performance in the first debate on October 2, Obama had to regain lost ground. He did – and defended his policy aggressively. Obama and Romney had heated exchanges on jobs, taxes, the budget and growth, on immigration reform, foreign affairs, women’s rights and their visions for the US. Since the first debate, Obama has scored worse in polls than at any other time before. Polls reflecting his performance in the second debate will only become available next week but are likely to improve again. With 18 days to go, the race is neck-and-neck. Several important swing states such as Florida, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia and Wisconsin are within the margins of error yet Obama has a much higher safe electoral vote base. Romney’s challenge remains winning Florida, Virginia and several other swing states while Obama will likely win Ohio and needs only a very few more. However, competition for the White House is strong now. In the Senate, a few crucial races are too close to call; a continued Democratic majority seems more likely than not. In the House, the Republicans will likely maintain control as a large shift towards Democrats is not within range given the tight race for the White House.
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