What the Presidential Debate Does For Candidates - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

What the Presidential Debate Does For Candidates

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For the past few weeks, it appeared the President's campaign was picking up steam, but that may have changed, last night.

Most people are saying Mitt Romney won the first presidential debate.

With 32 days left until the election, the question now is whether that will be reflected in the polls.

Experts say coming off nearly 20 debates to get the GOP presidential nomination, Romney looked like he was in mid-season form compared to President Obama, who hasn't had a face-to-face challenge like that, in four years.

"That's as good as I've seen Romney look," Erik Herzik said. "I think he controlled that debate, too."

Herzik is a professor of political science at the University of Nevada. He says last night's debate could be positive for both campaigns.

"I think it will re-energize both parties," Herzik said. "The Republicans now are like 'Wow, we can win.' And the Democrats are saying 'We need to work even harder now.'"

Herzik says he agrees that Romney won the debate, but partly because of the things Obama didn't say.

Voters on both sides of the aisle, seem to agree.

"I was disappointed in Obama," Obama supporter Butch Nelson said. "I thought he should have called Romney on a lot of the fact-checking that could have gone on, right there."

"I just thought he had better answers and didn't beat around the bush quite as much," Romney supporter Tom Contos said.

The debate was focused on domestic issues, with the economy front and center.

For many, the candidates' arguments didn't change their opinions.

"I know it's been a slow recovery over the last four years but I feel like we're on the right path," Obama supporter Scott Render said. "It's kind of conservative in nature, but should get the job done, in the long term."

"I have six children," Romney supporter Darlene Obos said. "Five of them were effected by the recession and one is still looking for work. Two lost their homes. So, I'm not voting for Obama, this time."

With the campaign in the home stretch, it remains to be seen if this debate changes the election, especially in battleground states, like Nevada.

"I think the kind of downward drift that Romney had when you're starting to see Obama picking up one or two percent, particularly in swing states, I think that's going to stop," Herzik said. "If that's correct, then the next debates become more important."

The next presidential debate will deal with foreign and domestic issues, one week from Tuesday.

The last one will be six days later, focusing on foreign policy.

Written by Paul Nelson
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