Last night was the best Presidential Debate I have ever witnessed and I have seen them all. The candidates stood their ground and went at it. The end result is this. If you are an Obama supporter you loved him and he raised your spirits from the first debate. If you are a Romney supporter you were happy with his performance and ability to lay the case out against him. So both sides were reinforced.
Where this leaves us is here. The polls will stabilize. The Romney gains will cease, and Obama may edge back but only slightly. What that means is this election is dead even and whoever wins will get only 50 to 52% (at the highest) of the vote.
Romney’s advantage is a more motivated voter who is committed to voting. Obama’s edge is in his dollars and get out the vote effort. There will be a massive drive to assure people vote. So post debate we are close to a 48-48 polling result, with one big caveat. Obama has the electoral edge.
The big question is how this Libya issue plays out. Obama saying he declared it a terrorist act on day one may have won the night but might not win the war. The Republicans can play tapes of Obama at the U.N. fourteen days later saying the video led to the attack. They can play tapes of his saying similar things continuously and then ask the American people to decide. If he declared and knew it was terrorism on day one why did he blame the video? Why did Secretary Rice go on the four Sunday shows and blame the video?
Now the last thing that change it all. The old October surprise. The Obama administration tries to change the conversation. Today they announce they have identified who was behind the terrorist strike. That adds a new dimension to the conversation today and moves the focus off the last night a little. Then watch for a strike against the perpetrators before the election. It will be a move to show toughness and action. It could change everything.