Sun, Oct 07, 2012 - Page 9 News List

Romney impresses during debate, but is it too little, too late?

Debates rarely have much impact, opinion polls shifting by an average of less than 1 percent following the 16 presidential debates that have occurred since 1988

By Andy Sullivan  /  Reuters, WASHINGTON

“If you think he’s a selfish person who’s out for the rich, you can still think he’s a confident, comfortable, genial executive who fires you with a smile,” he said.

Some voters however, may have been actually focusing on the words the two candidates said, rather than the manner in which they said them.

While Romney played down his conservative positions in an effort to reach out to centrist voters, Obama successfully emphasized themes like education and deficit reduction that appeal to this group, several observers said. His new emphasis on expanding opportunity, rather than ensuring fairness, also could help among the more ideologically moderate voters who have yet to make up their minds.

“Often voters are looking more for substance than for style,” said Dotty Lynch, a professor of communication at American University.

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