Obama Edges Romney in Post-Debate Polls; Romney’s ‘Binders Full of Women’ Comment Sparks Social Media Onslaught

Polls taken immediately after the rematch debate between President Barak Obama and Republican Mitt Romney show that Obama made a comeback and won the debate, but just barely. A CNN/ORC poll gave Obama a 7-point advantage while a poll of just swing, battleground states gave it to Obama by 15 points.

Both men appeared sharp, prepared and willing to mix it up, sometimes getting up in each other’s grill, invading personal space. Obama scored when, in answering repeated questions from Romney about whether he looked at his pension, said “I don’t look at my pension. It’s not as big as yours, so it doesn’t take as long.”

Romney once again effectively made the case that Obama’s policies have not worked and that it was time for a change. Obama countered that things are at least moving in the right direction and electing Romney would be a return to the Republican policies that got the country into the mess it was in—a nasty recession—when he first took office.

But last night was all about the expectations game. One poll showed that a whopping 76 percent of viewers said Obama did better than they expected. That of course, is due to his poor performance in the first date. As I said on NBC Connecticut this morning, all the president had to do was not lay down on the debate stage floor and take a nap and he would do better than he did in Denver.

Romney seemed to miss an opportunity on the topic of the attack on the US consulate in Benghazi, Libya in which four Americans including the US Ambassador to Libya were killed. Obama should have great exposure on the issue given the fact the administration trotted out UN Ambassador Susan Rice a full five days after the attack to claim the attack came as a result of a protest over an anti-Muslim video. Their ever-changing story is troubling. But Romney got bogged down in what the president did or didn’t say in the White House Rose Garden on Sept. 12. The topic is likely to be the centerpiece of the last debate Monday night when the topic is foreign affairs.

Also on display last night was the immediacy of social media. In answering a question about equal pay for women, Romney said that as governor of Massachusetts, he sought out women for cabinet posts. He said women’s groups brought him “binders full of women” to consider.

“Binders full of women” doesn’t sound good in any context. The unfortunate wording sparked an immediate reaction. Within minutes of Romney’s comment, a new twitter account, @Romney’sbinders, was set up. By the end of the debate, it had 30,000 followers. Also, within minutes, the Internet domain name www.BindersFullofWomen.com was purchased.

The third and final debate is Monday night.

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