Debate stakes

Updated
Stephen Colbert spoke to David Gregory on Meet the Press about Romney's debate performance boosting his image with the GOP.
Stephen Colbert spoke to David Gregory on Meet the Press about Romney's debate performance boosting his image with the GOP.

Will tomorrow night’s face-off at Hofstra University have the same seismic impact that the first presidential debate did? More than a third of voters say they have a better opinion of Governor Mitt Romney following that first showdown, according to a new poll by ABC News and the Washington Post. Just 8% of voters in the survey say they have a better view of President Obama.

More importantly for Team Romney, that debate changed the narrative. As Stephen Colbert told David Gregory (above), Romney supporters had been abandoning the Romney ship prior to the debate, whether they wanted to publicly admit it or not. Add to that a new poll by Politico and George Washington University shows Romney’s likability is now in positive territory, with 51% of voters viewing him favorably versus 44% who view him unfavorably. Jennifer Rubin writes in the Washington Post, “it is silly to deny that the first debate has been more significant than any one event in the 2012 election.”

Now it’s the President’s chance to rebound. The bar set for him to excel is high, but the stakes are higher. Governor Romney ensured that October 3rd changed the polls and the narrative. Can President Obama match that performance on October 16th?

Debate stakes

Updated