How Mitt Romney can win the debates

Despite the media's many premature post mortems, the presidential race is actually still quite close

Edward Morrissey

The summer siestas have concluded. The convention bounces have dissipated. The presidential race remains where it has been ever since May, when Mitt Romney became the presumptive Republican nominee, and when Barack Obama began hammering Romney on his wealth and his taxes. Here's the longstanding state of the race: A virtual tie nationwide, and mixed signals from the battleground states. We have achieved nothing over the last five months except an extended period of stasis, interrupted by gaffes and stumbles that have proven relatively meaningless.

What can break this race open? The only unique events left on the schedule are the four debates — three between Obama and Romney, and one between Joe Biden and Paul Ryan. The latter debate will provide amusement, but probably won't drive voter choices; people vote for the top of the ticket, not for the bottom. That makes the debates between the two nominees the best opportunity for each side to close the deal, and the first of those debates — on Wednesday night in Denver — will probably be the most critical.

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Edward Morrissey

Edward Morrissey has been writing about politics since 2003 in his blog, Captain's Quarters, and now writes for His columns have appeared in the Washington Post, the New York Post, The New York Sun, the Washington Times, and other newspapers. Morrissey has a daily Internet talk show on politics and culture at Hot Air. Since 2004, Morrissey has had a weekend talk radio show in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area and often fills in as a guest on Salem Radio Network's nationally-syndicated shows. He lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with his wife, son and daughter-in-law, and his two granddaughters. Morrissey's new book, GOING RED, will be published by Crown Forum on April 5, 2016.