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Election Connection Commentary: Obama looks to improve on previous debate performance

14 October 2012 By Jonathan Munshaw, News Editor No Comments

Just as soon as the vice presidential debate finished, the second presidential debate, a town hall-style discussion, could be the breaking point for either side.

Since there are no set subjects for Barack Obama and his challenger Mitt Romney, both sides are likely to argue on both foreign and domestic policy, since their running mates primarily discussed that during their debate Thursday night.

The debate comes at a pivotal time for the Obama campaign, who trails Romney in the latest Gallup, Rasmussen and Reuters polls, released on Saturday.

If Obama really wants to appeal to voters, especially in this style of debate, he will have to be more assertive against his opponent than he was during the last debate.

Since citizens will ask the questions, expect topics close to home, like the current job market, education and civil rights such as same-sex marriage and abortion.

While education was touched on during the first debate, the two candidates will likely tout the successes they have had so far while in office.

Last debate, Obama promised to hire 100,000 more science and mathematics teachers in public schools in the coming years as a part of his Educate to Innovate Campaign, an initiative designed to make the U.S. the best education system for science and math.

Obama also has done more to improve colleges in America, increasing the funding to federal Pell Grants to help students from low-income families attend college.

Romney, similar to Obama, has promised no cuts to public funding of universities, and he enacted a policy in Massachusetts where the top fourth of college graduates could attend a state university for free.
If abortion is brought up as a topic of discussion, the debate will certainly get heated, and fast.
Back in 2007, Obama voted to extend funding to stem cell research, and Obama has expressed his support of Roe v. Wade, which allows a woman the right to have an abortion under the 14th amendment.
Romney could not be farther apart from Obama on this issue. He has pledged to overturn Roe v. Wade and is against stem cell research. As part of his healthcare plan in Massachusetts, he also said that churches were not required to give out morning-after pills.

The same goes for the two candidates on same-sex marriage. While Obama has publicly supported same-sex marriage, Romney had supported a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage.

When questions on civil rights start coming, gun control is not far behind, but that issue is something the two candidates are not that far apart on.

Obama has said previously that state and local governments should decide the issue of gun control, and although he supports the second amendment, he also said that local gun bans should be allowed.

Similar to Obama, Romney has supported a five-day waiting period when purchasing a gun, and he never changed the tough gun laws that are currently in place in Massachusetts.

No matter where the discussion leads, Obama will have to be much more assertive than he was during the first debate to make up the ground he lost by allowing Romney to dominate their first discussion.

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