Campaign Calculus: Before and after the first debate

Updated

The latest video in our “Campaign Calculus” series reflects Nate Silver’s daily election predictions before and after the first pivotal debate.

In the early part of the week, we saw Mitt Romney trailing in the polls of every battleground state. Republicans from Rush Limbaugh to Charles Krauthammer clamored for Romney to be more aggressive, to go large. Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan also grabbed headlines for brushing off a question about the arithmetic in Romney’s tax plan.

“Well, I don’t have the time,” Ryan said. “It would take me too long to through all of the math.”

At the first debate, Romney answered the conservative pundits’ call for aggressiveness by prosecuting President Obama on a slow economic recovery. When prompted to explain his own plan, like how he would pay for a $5 trillion tax cut, Romney replied that his plan did not call for such a cut.

“We’ve been asking for months, how is Mitt Romney going to explain the deduction side of his $5 trillion tax cut,” commented msnbc’s Lawrence O’Donnell. “Who among us anticipated that Mitt Romney’s answer would be, ‘There is no $5 million tax cut’?”

On the day after the debate, President Obama took to the stump to address this contradiction in Romney’s rhetoric.

Nate Silver

Campaign Calculus: Before and after the first debate

Updated