From battleships to bayonets, President Obama tried to give Mitt Romney a lesson in foreign policy in Monday night's final presidential debate at Lynn University in Boca Raton, Fla. However, just hours before the debate began, the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll found Obama's national security lead over Romney had dwindled to a dead heat at 47-46 percent.
"One of the two candidates was responsible for killing Osama bin Laden and enjoys popularity overseas, while the other one bungled a European trip and has a thin résumé when it comes to international issues," wrote Sean Sullivan in Monday's Washington Post. "But based on the latest numbers, it would be difficult to tell one from the other."
Like in the second debate, Obama came out aggressive from the get-go, spending most of the night attempting to give Romney a lesson in foreign policy. It seemed somewhat of a flashback when four years ago, GOP nominee John McCain, a decorated war hero with years of foreign policy experience sought to school the new Illinois senator with no foreign policy experience. more >>
The final presidential debate featured less drama and less tweets than the previous two. While Mitt Romney and Barack Obama seemed to veer off the topic of foreign policy, which was supposed to be the main focus, those watching the debate and giving their opinions on Twitter appeared less amused.
"Who knew class sizes were a national security / foreign policy issue? #TheDebate" tweeted Ed Stetzer, vice president of Research and Ministry Development for LifeWay Christian Resources.
"Am I the only person who thinks that 'drone' describes this debate in many ways? #TheDebate," Stetzer added in another tweet. Also: "'Friends of Syria.' Is that a Facebook group? #TheDebate" more >>
In the final presidential debate, Mitt Romney sought to establish knowledge and credibility while President Barack Obama sought to convey that Romney cannot be trusted as commander in chief.
The candidates were seated next to each other at a table. Though there were still interruptions, the tone of the debate was more somber and collegial than the previous two debates, perhaps reflecting the serious nature of the threats being discussed.
On foreign policy matters, Romney is "all over the map," Obama said repeatedly. Romney, on the other hand, did not spend much time challenging Obama's positions. Instead, he spent much of the debate listing bullet points of his plans for dealing with the various foreign policy challenges around the world. more >>
Large majorities of voters say they do not like the direction the country is headed and want change. This may be one of the biggest challenges for President Barack Obama, who is offering voters a continuation of his policies rather than a new agenda for the next four years.
Obama's rival Republican Mitt Romney as well as some pundits have argued that Obama does not have an agenda for his second term. Not so, says liberal Washington Post columnist E. J. Dionne.
Obama has been clear, Dionne notes, on what he wants in a budget deal (both spending cuts and tax increases), which is the same budget deal he proposed during the Summer of 2011 debt ceiling negotiations. more >>
A new poll released on Monday from Public Religion Research Institute finds that Americans who are unaffiliated in their religious views or who are less religious are less likely to head to the polls this election season. If the findings from this survey hold true, it could spell troubling news for the Obama campaign since voters who are less religious are more likely to support the president.
Americans who identify themselves as religiously unaffiliated are the fastest growing segment in America's religious landscape. The annual PRRI survey found that 19 percent of Americans consider themselves part of this group. However, only 7 percent say they were raised in a religiously unaffiliated household.
Interestingly, President Obama, who has said he is a Christian, has a substantial lead among the religiously unaffiliated with 73 percent of those polled, while only 23 percent of that group say they support Mitt Romney, who is Mormon. more >>
In what may have been a response to complaints from liberals and the Obama campaign, Gallup changed some of its sampling methods. Even with that change, supposedly in President Barack Obama's favor, the latest tracking poll shows Mitt Romney with a seven percentage point lead, the largest lead for Romney of any recent national poll.
Mark Blumenthal, senior polling editor for The Huffington Post and editor of Pollster.com, has been one of those criticizing Gallup's methods. In a June column for The Huffington Post, for instance, he argued that the Gallup polls were skewed in favor of Mitt Romney. The reason, he said, is that Gallup did not properly weight their sample in a way that would appropriately represent the proportion of nonwhites in the population.
On Oct. 10, Gallup announced changes to its survey methods that appear to be a response to some of those criticisms. Among the changes, Gallup will now include more cell phones in its surveys, from 40 to 50 percent of the sample, will add a weight for population density to, apparently, give greater weight to urban voters, and will make slight changes to the question wording used to determine the most likely voters. more >>