Let’s cut to the chase. My prediction for tonight is a tie. Sorry, but it’s my honest analysis. Both candidate are competent politicians. By that, I don’t mean competent…I mean competent politicians. Gaffe’s are usually the exception to the rule, not the rule, though they do occasionally happen. Obama is a great bloviater…second to none. And both candidates are also pretty good at not getting cornered even if they end up not having an answer to a particular question.
In light of media hostility which will make anything close to a tie into an Obama win, the only clear path to victory for Romney in my mind, as far as the townhall is concerned, is an Obama gaffe. Remember people, this is not a debate, this is going to be a bunch of mini-speeches by the candidates, and Obama is pretty good at giving them and being empathetic with the folks at the same time. If this were a debate, I would call this one for Romney all the way. It’s true that Romney will still be able to work in some back and forths, but the problem is they will be more controlled by virtue of the setting.
All in all, I feel pretty good about this townhall. If a gaffe is to occur, I think it is more likely to be Obama who makes it, since he is the one back on his heels and who is viewed as the one who needs to be more aggressive. It will be interesting to see how Libya is handled by both sides considering all the recent developments. Hard to make a prediction on that.
I think the first debate made Romney an acceptable alternative. This appearance will either solidify that impression or undo it. If that impression is solidified in the minds of undecideds, no matter how the media calls it, this round will go to Romney, as will hopefully the election.