AKRON, Ohio – Most political experts agree that round one of Presidential debates was won handily by Mitt Romney.
University of Akron Political Science Professor David Cohen certainly saw it that way, and believes Obama’s decision to “stay above the fray” hurt his performance and made him look lethargic.
“It was like a football game. It looked like the President was playing a prevent defense.”
Cohen predicted Obama, known for his competitive nature, will not be happy with the debate reviews, and will “come out swinging” during the next debate, which is a town hall format.
“I don’t think there’s any question the tone is going to change.”
Cohen expects to see a slight shift in the polls towards Romney, but isn’t sure if the debate will close the gap in battleground states like Ohio.
Cohen mentioned it was no accident that both Obama and Romney praised the Cleveland Clinic’s health care system.
“If the Cleveland Clinic were located in Utah, you probably wouldn’t have heard about it,” Cohen said.
On campus, University of Akron students offered various perspectives on the debate.
Nathan Armbruster, an undecided voter, said he listened to the debate on the radio and then watched it on TV.
“When I listened to the radio, it seemed as though Barack Obama was winning, but when I saw the actual faces, I could tell that Mitt Romney looked more confident than Barack Obama did,” Armbruster said.
Dennis Gearhart, a Romney supporter, said the former governor “blew the debate out of the water,” but added that neither candidate offered enough specifics on improving the economy or job creation.
“We don’t have enough clear information yet, and I don’t think we will until that person is elected,” Gearhart said.
Antonio Goodwin, an Obama supporter, believes Romney needed to be more aggressive.
“He’s trying to take his (Obama’s) job. Obama, I feel, he has a couple more debates to go after what he want to go after with Governor Romney.”
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