Vice presidential debate unlikely to budge Ohio voters

COLUMBUS, Ohio Fri Oct 12, 2012 2:45am EDT

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) gestures towards Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan as they discuss a point during the U.S. vice presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky, October 11, 2012. REUTERS/John Gress

U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) gestures towards Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan as they discuss a point during the U.S. vice presidential debate in Danville, Kentucky, October 11, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/John Gress


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COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) - The U.S. vice presidential debate on Thursday grabbed voters' attention but appeared to change few hearts in the capital of Ohio, a state that might hold the key to victory in the November 6 election.

Democrats appreciated Vice President Joe Biden's sharp tongue and welcomed his aggressive attacks in a debate performance that will help to stabilize President Barack Obama's campaign after a weak performance in his own debate last week.

Republicans criticized Biden as unprofessional and annoying for grinning sarcastically as his Republican rival Paul Ryan spoke, while Ryan got high marks for avoiding wonky discourse and hitting hard against his famously forceful opponent.

All were surprised - for better or worse - to see Biden emerge from the debate gaffe-free.

Joanne Harvey, a registered independent who voted for Obama in 2008, watched the debate at a bar viewing party organized by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign.

She said she had been leaning Republican because of Obama's frequent of use of executive orders as well as the state of the economy and his healthcare system overhaul - but had earlier found Ryan too young and immature.

"I don't think the debate will have much impact (on the votes). But I think Ryan showed he was more mature, smarter and more articulate than everyone thought he is," said the small-business owner, who described Ryan as "very presidential."

Temi Ogungbadero, who is also registered independent, said he went into the debate hoping to get a sense of Ryan's personality and willing to be convinced, but emerged leaning Democratic more than before, put off by the Republican foreign policy proposals.

"I found him legitimately resentful toward the Middle East culture," said the student at Columbus State Community College, who watched the debate with members of the college Democrats group.


Vice presidential debates rarely sway voters: Gallup has found that none of the eight such debates from 1976 to 2008 seemed to have meaningfully altered voter preferences.

But Thursday's debate put pressure on Biden - whom one Democratic voter here dubbed "Obama's wild side" - to help the Democrats rebound from Romney's surprisingly strong debate performance last week.

For Wisconsin congressman Ryan, this was a first widely televised debate. His composed speech hit on many familiar talking points and raised applause from the friendly crowd at Marshall's Restaurant and Bar.

But some found his reserved demeanor lacking the fire necessary to win hearts.

"I expected Ryan to fight harder. He wasn't aggressive enough when he was constantly interrupted," said Scott Preston, a small business owner who expressed concern that the Republican nominees were steering too much toward the middle.

"America loves football and if a team loses, they want it to go down fighting. ... I felt that he laid down a little bit trying to be too nice," said Preston, who was at the viewing party that was also attended by Ohio Governor John Kasich.

No Republican presidential candidate has won an election without also winning Ohio. Romney could become the first one to do so but faces challenging voting math of having to win all other swing states if he doesn't win Ohio.

Obama has a lead over Romney in the latest Ohio polls. On Thursday, a poll by NBC/Wall Street Journal/Marist showed Obama ahead 51 percent to 45 percent, while a Rasmussen poll had Obama 1 point ahead at 48 percent.

Early voting is already under way in the state.

(Editing by Alistair Bell and Jim Loney)

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Comments (9)
pro2hd wrote:
The atart of comment is …who ever wrote this article is an absolute Republican cause Mr. Ryan was soundly whooped in this debate. Abortion….forget it….the women of this country will vote against this guy and his partner if it’s only on this issue alone. Unfortunately for Ryan, there were a few more things he lost on….Afghanistan being one. He was lost…admit it! Giving any “specifics” about anything he and Romney are campaigning on….forget that too. That’s not about to happen because how can you explain something to the people that you can’t explain to yourself. The end of my comment is….Biden won / Ryan lost. End of story.

Oct 12, 2012 4:06am EDT  --  Report as abuse
tt0077 wrote:
Romney and Ryan have a problem, big problem. And all of the followers of Romney and Ryan have a problem. It is called the Constitution. The charge is treason.

U S Constitution, Section 4. The United States shall guarantee to every state in this union a republican form of government, and shall protect each of them against invasion; and on application of the legislature, or of the executive (when the legislature cannot be convened) against domestic violence.

Definition of terms
Vatican – A foreign, hostile government with an undeclared war on the US. The Vatican has no allies, only “subjects”. The Vatican does not negotiate with any nation, the history is strictly subjugation. The document the Vatican uses as the “guiding” of the Vatican is the C. a. t. h. o. l.ic Catechism. (Catholid bible).. The Vatican has never, nor will ever accept any document (such as the US Constitution) to be above the Catechism. (Catholid bible).. Therefore, peace is not possible. The Vatican is at war against any and all nations that are not of the Catholic dogma. This war is unending. The vatican takes no prisoners.
Catholic – An agent or spy for the Vatican. These spys and agents may claim to be “citizens” of another nation (for instance, the USA), however, the true alliance is with the Vatican. Thus Catholics are to be treated as hostile individuals to the US. If elected to US office, they take an oath to defend the Constitution of the US. Then they act in compliance with the Vatican. This is treason during time of war. In peace it is sedition. .

All the Catholics (R and D alike) that have joined together to keep the borders open are traitors.
I have a question. Is there a successful Catholic nation in the world? Please name one. Do not vote for failure, R or D.

Oct 12, 2012 4:15am EDT  --  Report as abuse
jcfl wrote:
@tt0077 – what planet are you from? can’t even tell what you are for, just what you are against. i’m really sorry you were an abused alterboy in your early life. get some help before you become a PAM (potential axe murderer)

Oct 12, 2012 7:27am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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