Last week, Joe Biden gave his best impression of an Irish brawler in the vice-presidential debate. Acting as if it were a vaudeville act, he chortled, guffawed, laughed and sighed his way through the encounter. Democrats and the media, who were despondent over Obama’s performance in the first debate, consoled themselves that Biden had brought the “fight” back. Democrats were eager to root for the bully. Unfortunately for them, the actual voters didn’t like it.
My colleague, John Nolte, noted yesterday that the Gallup tracking poll has moved decisively towards Romney since the VP debate. Romney has moved from a 2-point lead over Obama among likely voters to a significant 6 point lead yesterday. That may come back down closer to earth over the next few days, but the momentum shift is clear.
Yesterday’s Marquette University poll of Wisconsin, though, added more detail about Biden’s failure in the VP debate. Romney has surged in Wisconsin since the first presidential debate. At the end of September, Obama enjoyed a comfortable 11-point lead in the state, 53-42. Now, though, the race is tied at 49% for Obama to Romney’s 48%. Some portion of this surge is attributable to the VP debate. From Marquette:
Of those polled before the vice-presidential debate, Biden had a 49 percent favorable to 41 percent unfavorable rating, while those interviewed after the debate gave him a 44 percent favorable to 47 percent unfavorable evaluation. Ryan’s ratings among those polled before the debate stood at 46 percent favorable to 41 percent unfavorable. For those surveyed after the debate, his ratings were 50 percent favorable and 40 percent unfavorable. Of those who watched the debate, 42 percent thought Biden did the better job, while 51 percent thought Ryan did better.
Biden suffered an 11-point swing in his favorable ratings. Before the debate he was +8, after he is -3. Ryan added 5 points to his favorables, moving from net +5 to +10. Overall, he won the debate by 9 points among those who watched. Among independents, Ryan won the debate by 14 points.
Yes, this is one state, but Wisconsin is a decent representation of the whole country and certainly the battleground states. I would bet that results in other states would mirror this poll. Especially in light of Gallup’s national tracking poll’s movement towards Romney.
The left oddly loves to see their candidates “fighting.” They like it when their candidate is angry or at least very aggressive. In 2000, after Al Gore’s infamous condescending sigh-fest through a debate with Bush, the left initially thought Gore got the better of Bush. It was only after subsequent polls showed voters were turned off by Gore did they come around to realize is mistake.
Obama channeled parts of Biden in this debate Tuesday. The left immediately applauded that Obama was a “fighter” and very aggressive against Romney. But, as recent polling indicates, voters don’t like it. Rather than rebound their reelection campaign after the disastrous first debate, Biden and Obama may have doomed it.