Who Won the Presidential Debate 2012: Analysis of the Boca Raton Debate


Monday, President Barack Obama and Republican Nominee Mitt Romney will have their 3rd debate of the 2012 election. The format is identical to the first debate, except this time the questions will only concern foreign policy. Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer will serve as moderator for the evening.

         Obama gained tremendous momentum coming out of the town hall debate, whereas Romney had several flubs. The most memorable of Romney's missteps were the “binders full of women” remark, and the immediate fact-checking that disproved his claims about the president's comments on Libya. Romney is still very much alive, and is even leading in some polls, mostly due to his absolute dominance of the first debate on domestic policy.

        The town hall affair was much more contentious. Both candidates seemed legitimately angry at their opponent on more than one occasion. The discussion suffered only slightly, and it made for great television, so I'm hoping for an equally rancorous third round. The fact that it's going to be a classic, two-guys-standing-at-podiums debate makes that substantially less likely, but I still have hope. The sharp drop in the amiability of the handshakes after the first and second debates was palpable. I really think Obama and Romney are starting to dislike each other personally.

         Returning to the standard debate format could help Governor Romney, who is widely regarded as being less charismatic than President Obama. The real question is: which Obama is going to show up tomorrow? Will we get the stiff, lackluster performance from round one, or the inspired vigor of the town hall?

         No matter which version of the President makes an appearance, I'll be sharing my largely uninformed and totally uncensored throughout the night.

Final Presidential Debate:

Topic: Foreign policy

The format for the debate will be identical to the first presidential debate and will focus on foreign policy.

PolicyMic will be covering the final presidential debate LIVE. Bookmark and refresh this page for the latest updates.



Live Analysis:


UPDATE:  Final Thoughts - This was by far the closest debate so far. After a big win for Romney in round 1, and a solid victory for Obama in round two, this was a dead heat. If I had to pick a winner, I would say Obama takes it only because of he had more "OH SNAP!" moments. Romney had better, more specific answers to a lot of the questions, but Obama really brought the rhetorical heat.


10:33 - Was that a binder in the bottom left corner of the screen during Romney's closing speech? I was liking what he was saying but now all I can think about is "binders full of women."

10:28 - Don't the candidates realize how transparent it is that they only talk about meeting people from battleground states?

10:27 - Obama is to "2 trillion that our military is not asking for" as Romney is to "Four years closer to a bomb"

10:23 - Romney claims to love American cars, go-go fact checkers! What kind of cars does he own?

10:22 - Obama touts that he doubled exports to China, but Romney just smiles and seems to write something down. I'm looking forward to his respone.

10:20 - One second Romney is explaining how our trade deficit with China protects us from a trade war because they have more to lose, then he's saying that it's a bad thing and needs to be fixed. Can't have it both ways...

10:15 - Even in the question about China, Romney is harping on Iran. However, I do like his point about making ourselves so awesome that China would want to work with us rather than try to outcompete us. Interesting concept.

10:13 - America loves democracy abroad, but hates it at home I guess. #abolishelectoralcollege

10:12 - How many times is Romney gonna mention that Iran is "four years closer" to a bomb? I'm starting to think he's trying to convince himself...

10:07 - Maybe it is me, that was a good answer, Obama.

10:05 - Is it me, or has Romney been infinitely more specific about his action plans than Obama?

10:03 - Really? A sappy 9/11 story? 


10:02 - I bet Obama wishes he could talk about killing Bin Laden all night. You'd think he had him mounted in his trophy room.

9:59 - Romney's dodge of that hypothetical question was very well executed. Obama is losing momentum after a brief surge.

9:57 - I'm suddenly less upset about missing Monday Night Football. This is really heating up.

I am!

9:54 - #Aggrobama "Everything he just said is not true." BAM! 

9:52 - Romney actually mentions specifics of what we'll do to Iran, like being jerks to their diplomats and indicting Ahmadinejad. Thumbs up.

9:50 - "We want to use all our options" is such bull shit, Mr. President. It's basically a tautology, and doesn't tell us anything. Who wants fewer options for crisis solving? I want to know WHICH options we think will be the most helpful.

9:48 - I really like Romney's answer to the Iran question.

9:46 - I love the subtext of Romney's tie. "I'm red, but I have a few blueish/purple streaks..."

9:44 - Daaaayum, Obama with the best "OH SNAP!" moment of the debates so far. "We have aircraft carriers now, planes land on them..."

9:43 - I feel like maybe the Air Force is the smallest it's ever been because the planes cost $20,000,000 apiece and require a P.H.D. in computer science to pilot.

9:41 - OK seriously though, why can't Romney name ONE of the loopholes he's going to close? How many times can he smile why Obama calls him out on it.

9:40 - I've heard this exact same spiel before, Obama. I demand fresh material!

9:37 - "Massachusettes was 48th in small business creation" that's some #Aggrobama

9:36 - Obama joins in the domestic discussion, is he falling for Romney's trap?

9:34 - Romney is talking about domestic policy again... what gives?

9:32 - Obama says "Ear-On," Romney says "Eye-Ran," like a real American. Don't bend to their pronounciation Mr. President, you need to be stronger on linguistic policy.

9:29 - Obviously Romney is right that America needs to be awesome in order to be effective in our foreign policy, but I question him bringing it up tonight. 

9:27 - Obama gets the first "C'mon, man..." of the night:

9:21 - Uh-oh, Romney has a flyawy hair on his forehead that bounces when he talks. I love HDTV.

9:18 - Romeny's plan for Syria is more specific than any of his other policies, but I give him credit since it sounds like a pretty damn good plan.

9:12 - "Not only are you wrong, but you're confusing..."

9:11 - Was that a convoluted version of "The 80's called and they want their foreign policy back? I think it was. PRESIDENTIAL BURN!

9:09 - "My strategy is to kill them" That one's got potential, thanks Romney.

9:04 - Libya is in the middle east? I'm no geographer... but I'm fairly sure it's in Africa. I guess since many arabs live there it just gets lumped in with the rest.

9:02 -  This is barely even an exaggeration:

8:57 - Daaaaaaaaaa Bears. Oh well, time to change the channel (after this Devin Hester punt return of course)

8:48 - Touchdown Bears! Only 12 more minutes of football until the debate.

8:25 - I think "you're doing great" should be a .gif at the very least

8:23 - Speaking of meme-spawning, how did Obama's total B.S. "You're doing great" encouragement go unnoticed?

8:21 - "Binders full of women" set the bar pretty high for meme-spawning gaffes, but I bet Romney has another one in him.

8:10 pm - I wonder... how many people will care more about Cutler vs. Stafford than Obama vs. Romney?

8:08 pm - Who schedules a debate on a Monday night during football season? C'mon, man...

8:04 pm - Here's hoping that tonight's debate gets as heated as the town hall. This is the kind of energy we need:

11:20am - Looking forward to the debate tonight, because I have a lot to learn about foreign policy.