Social Question

wundayatta's avatar

Emotionally, how are you doing with the fallout from Obama's poor debate performance now?

Asked by wundayatta (58525points) October 11th, 2012

Before the debate, I was checking the polls several times a day and reading all the commentary. I was feeling good about the possibility of an Obama victory. Since a few days after the debate, when Romney made up all the ground, I’ve been despondent and unable to look at the polls any more.

I’m trying to prepare myself for the disaster of a Romney presidency. For a day after election day that could be worse than Reagan or Bush. For a continuation of the slow erosion of our rights; the start of a war in Iran; the loss of universal health insurance; an uptick in inflation and an increase in the poverty rate; and a rapid increase in the rate at which the rich get richer while the rest of us stagnate, or lose more of what we have.

I’m not doing well. How about you? Even you Romney supporters who must be walking on sunshine about now. All I can say is if he wins, don’t say you weren’t warned.

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51 Answers

Mariah's avatar

I can’t deal with the thought of him winning, at all. Because he says things like this that scare the shit out of me.

augustlan's avatar

I’m still paying attention, but I’m scared. If it’s any consolation, 538 still gives the win to Obama.

glacial's avatar

It was one debate. There’s plenty of time yet.

If it’s any consolation, we ended up with a Conservative majority (with a PM who worships American conservatism) in our last election and we’re all still alive and kicking after a year and a half. Here’s hoping for a more united left the next time around. Then for some rolling up of sleeves to undo all the damage to environmental policy.

Coloma's avatar

I have zero emotional attachment to Obama or politics in general. Now…back to my amazing dinner prep. Let them eat chili and blackberry pie. It’s going to be what it’s going to be, won’t ruin my night. ;-)

tom_g's avatar

I’m a mess, to be honest. @augustlan, even back when 538 had Obama at 86.1% chance of winning, I was a little nervous. Now it’s just scary. I don’t like where my mind is bringing me. I’m getting pretty misanthropic, and find myself thinking, “hmm…so that explains why the US is such a shitty country”, etc.

Last night, I changed up my meditation practice. I was doing traditional Vipassana, but I am trying loving kindness (or Metta).

Coloma's avatar

@tom_g Just have a happy brownie and make a pot of zen chili. That’ll do the trick. haha

ragingloli's avatar

Could have been predicted, really. Both Ryan and Romney have demonstrated themselves to be brazen and shameless liars.
That is why I think Biden will “lose” his debate as well.

Blondesjon's avatar

Hmmm. Emotionally . . . Emotionally? . . . Emotionally?

<insert long, hardy, authentic laughter here>

Buttonstc's avatar

Emotionally ? Surely you jest.

I don’t waste my emotions on the vagaries of political debates. Historically, they are rarely predictive of the eventual outcome (especially just the first one).

There is more water to pass under the bridge yet and a lot more can happen either way before the final outcome. It’s politics after all. They’re only polls.

DigitalBlue's avatar

I’m mortified. My heart sank when I heard that Romney was doing so well. I made plans today to possibly leave the country. I can’t actually do that, but the conversation was very serious, I now know that it’s a real option if I choose to do so. Not based on that, alone, but I’m ready.

I look around me, and as I’ve said countless times, I live in an area that has been devastated, forgotten, we struggle so bad here. Obama is the only president in my lifetime, and to the best of my knowledge, ever, that has reached out to us. Tried to pull us up out of this. Losing that would be nothing short of devastating to a number of families that I know personally, and those who live in this area. We need Obama to win, because Mitt Romney will let us fall apart, and we are this close to doing that, anyhow.
People bitch and bitch about how Obama hasn’t helped, or that he has made things work – but I have never felt a more personal presence of the POTUS than I have with Barack Obama. I have a roof over my head because of our president. My parents have a roof over their head because of Obama. My father has busted his ass his entire life, I don’t know anyone that works harder, and he has a job because of Obama. We can’t lose that, I can’t lose that. I could be sick just thinking about it, and despite some of the responses here, yes it does make me emotional.

Aethelwine's avatar

No emotions here. I’m more concerned about getting the propane tank filled for the winter.

glacial's avatar

There was an analyst on Maddow the other night who was quoting a pollster as saying that the two parties receive bad news very differently: when it’s Republicans, they want to kill you; when it’s Democrats, they want to kill themselves.

Don’t get depressed because of the bad news. Get motivated. Vote, and tell everyone you know to vote. Get involved. It’s not over ‘till it’s over.

tom_g's avatar

@glacial: “Don’t get depressed because of the bad news. Get motivated.”

Good advice, but difficult in practice. I didn’t watch the debate because I don’t watch sporting matches, and don’t particularly like theater. I especially don’t like theater, sport, and the future of this country all mixed up.

Anyway, when the news came in the day after the debate that Romney had lied and Obama shit the bed, I ended up sending more money to both the Obama and Warren campaigns. As crazy and selfish as people in Massachusetts can be, there is no way Romney can win. Too many of us are educated. But Scott Brown is another story. I’m embarrassed for my neighbors that they elected him to fill Kennedy’s seat, and it appears they are going to do it again.

I don’t know what makes me feel better – thinking that people are ignorant or just plain evil.

bookish1's avatar

@wundayatta, good question. I’ve felt pretty emotionally detached from the campaign; I was sick of it last summer. I am not diehard pro-Obama, he’s practically center-right as far as I’m concerned and certainly not the “socialist” the eat-the-poor reactionaries have tarred him, but I have been pretty terrified of a Romney victory. Mostly I’m sick of the two party system in general, and still reeling from Citizens United. I’m pretty embarrassed of my country that so many people could think Mittens is the way forward. I guess people get extra delusional during economic crises. I am hoping there is an option for me to leave the country if Romney is elected…I can’t not have health care, and I went into grad school in no small part because I’ve known since I was a teenager that I needed to always have health insurance.

@tom_g : I’ve been feeling pretty misanthropic myself recently. Thank you for reminding me of metta meditation. That’s definitely something I should be working on !!!

@Mariah: Ye gods, I just read that link, and I don’t know whether to weep or gnash my teeth.

wundayatta's avatar

@Buttonstc It’s interesting. You say “it’s only polls” as if the future of our country won’t change drastically depending on who is elected. As if it’s really not going to affect you whoever gets elected.

If Romney is elected, we’ll survive, but it will be another opportunity wasted. It will be four or even eight more lost years, where we fail to do things to give opportunity to Americans. We behave stupidly, and take things from people, and give them no chance to make something of themselves.

It’s ironic that Romney says he wants to give people a chance to do well, but all his policies are designed to take away everything that enables people to do well: like education, child care, health care and a clean environment. His idea of what opportunity is ignores the vast majority of the population. I wonder if he has heard a single complaint from a wealthy person who can’t find enough educated workers to fill the factories. How does cutting back student loan programs help people get the education they need? And if they can’t get an education, they can’t get jobs, then they can’t make money. If people aren’t making money, how can we cut taxes and increase revenues to pay off the debt?

Everywhere I turn, the prospect of more and more stupidity—stuff that runs against all the scientific research—just makes me scared and angry.

I will certainly vote. Everyone I know will vote. They’ll all vote for Obama, too. I live in a city that has been raped by Republican leadership for the last twenty years or so. We all know who is best for us. But we are not the state and the state is not the country. I can do nothing for other states where people seem to be very confused and swing from one idea to another, perhaps without really understanding what the politicians are saying.

Qingu's avatar

Chill out dude. He had a bum night and the media loves a horse race. There’s 2 debates left.

And I must say this VP debate is going pretty well. :)

tom_g's avatar

@Qingu – I can’t watch. Do you think he followed his own advice?

I have no idea why, but I love The Onion’s whole fake Biden-as-80s-Camaro-driving-badass thing.

woodcutter's avatar

All I have noticed that this site, with about 97% liberal inhabitants…Has become a real motherfucker to participate in political discussions. It’s like y’all are on the rag and it has been showing in the site decorum as of late

And I do believe it is because of the polls, and the hand ringers lashing out, out of shear frustration.

And it really needs to stop

I recently watched a long time member be eviscerated in public because they dared _ to ask a question. Just ask a question? Really? It was totally un -fucking acceptable and never had I seen anything like that before.

C’mon folks…get a grip.

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DigitalBlue's avatar

Oh, sure, jellies getting snotty with people who disagree with the majority. That’s new.~

cheebdragon's avatar

Why would you be worried? Anyone who has seen a press conference in the last few years already knows Obama is shit without a speechwriter and/or TelePrompTer.

woodcutter's avatar

@DigitalBlue This stuff of late is what you call snotty?

Snotty…nope that isn’t covering it, That or you are one tough sumbitch

woodcutter's avatar

Why the prez tanked on that last debate is a mystery to me. It was totally uncharacteristic I thought. But it happened. Move on it’s not over yet. I suppose some people get so wrapped up in these things they hurt themselves and maybe bystanders. Just take another HTC and chill.

JLeslie's avatar

I’m pretty calm about it. When Bush won the Presidency the first time I was freaked out. When he won the second time I was in disbelief and depression for weeks. If Romney wins I am not freaked out as long as nothing happens to him while in office, because Ryan freaks me out much more than Romney.

Plus, I have to agree with @cheebdragon, Obama is never very good at answering questions. If anything the media screwed him a little by always saying how wonderful of a speaker he is. He is good at giving speeches. It’s like going to a movie everyone says is fantastic, sometimes it makes expectations too high.

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I’m not sure I want to wade into this thread, but here goes.

I was very distressed by the fallout from the first debate and Romney’s surge in the polls. The types of changes in social programs that the Republicans want will have a devastating effect on me personally.

Today, I’m calmer. No, I’m not watching the debate between the vice-presidential candidates. I’m not watching on purpose. It would probably be too upsetting. I choose to remain calm.

I hope Obama wins. I will do my part and vote. There are many local races to vote on, too. Those are important as well.

If Romney wins, we will all cross that bridge when we get there.

Aethelwine's avatar

“It’s like y’all are on the rag and it has been showing in the site decorum as of late”

^^This is the best line I’ve read here in a long time. love it.

woodcutter's avatar

Do debates really translate into more voters? I mean who has not looked at pretty much all the topics that are discussed? Unless they have been living under a rock? They have enough what they know and if not what is supposed to enlighten them from watching this? Something like this can really sway someone to one side or the other? It’s just two guys talking up talking points. It’s that potent? Did anyone hear anything new that changes things?

woodcutter's avatar

LOL The man will not diagnose PMS to the woman


wundayatta's avatar

@woodcutter If you follow the polls, then you’ll know the debate had an enormous impact.

@Qingu It’s not over ‘til it’s over, but I don’t know how you remain as sanguine as you seem to be. I’m glad you are, but that’s not me.

I think Biden did an excellent job against Ryan, but I doubt we’ll see much movement, if any, back towards Obama. VP doesn’t matter that much. However, he did give Obama a good model.

Bellatrix's avatar

[Mod says] I understand this social and it is a passionate discussion but try to keep things civil folks.

Coloma's avatar

@jonsblond Propane…bah..I hear you! $800 a tank come Jan. easy. F—K!!!

Qingu's avatar

@wundayatta, every presidentail election has bumps and tightening of the polls. Obama is AFAIK still ahead in swing states and has heavily invested in ground games there. The economy is also improving. And Romney’s “victory” was style, not substance. (I imagine Obama explicitly went in with the gloves on because he had advice that undecideds wouldn’t like combative debate performances.)

It probably won’t be as big of a victory as in 2008. And I don’t want to underestimate the stupidity of the American people. But I don’t think the fundamentals favor Romney and Ryan. They’re dishonest pricks who want to reinstate Bush’s policies, and ultimately it’s not going to be that hard for Obama to make that clear.

ETpro's avatar

It had me down till Joe Biden leveled the playing field this evening. Now I’m feeling pretty good. I just hope Biden can give Obama a transfusion of some good old-fashioned spunk before the next Presidential Debate on Tuesday.

rojo's avatar

I’ve come to grips with it and, with the Xanax I can sleep at night now.

Qingu's avatar

I do think that Biden’s “victory” won’t be as pronounced in the polls. I wouldn’t even be surprised if this is somehow spun into a draw.

Democrats have no problem whining about our candidates’ poor performance; we’re complainers. Republicans on the other hand tend to rally behind their guys and refuse to admit weakness, even when they obviously bomb. That could easily end up as a polling asymmetry.

woodcutter's avatar

I don’t think Obama’s bombspray that night really reflected nearly as badly on him as is thought but more of a bounce in the republican approval of their guy. How do you think they were feeling before that night? So right now they are all giddy for their guy, the dems being depressed about it has driven one side down ,another up, creating a closer race. This should not have come as a shock. No one is entitled to a win.

ETpro's avatar

@Qingu I believe that Biden’s victory will have as profound an effect in this race as VP candidate Dick Cheney;s win against John Edwards had in the 2000 campaign. Perhaps not many remember it now, but Al Gore destroyed Bush in the first debate and polls had swung his way. Cheney’s solid performance reversed the polls.

Buttonstc's avatar


Yes, its only POLLS the results of which vary depending upon who is running them and how the questions are posed.

Because I refuse to get on a roller coaster ride with them does not mean that I’m indifferent to the election or its outcome. I’m merely indifferent to the ups and downs of polls.

I still think that when all is said and done, its far more likely that Obama will win than not and ill be doing my part and casting my vote for him.

But most polls (other than exit polling) are basically money making carp and not worth the angst.

The time for emotional reactions will be if Obama loses or this whole thong winds up in another Supreme Court debacle which gave us more of that idiot shrub. THAT is worth my emotions. Not a bunch of non-determinative polls.

If you want to stay on the roller coaster for every little change in the polls, by all means, that is your right. Just don’t be so surprised that not everyone joins you.

It doesn’t make us in-American. It just means that we prefer a measured response to every poll that comes down the pike. Yes, they’re only polls. They are not the election. Thats what really counts.

ragingloli's avatar

The rightwingers are already proclaiming Ryan’s victory over biden:

wundayatta's avatar

@Buttonstc The thing is, after the election is over, you can’t do anything. It’s over. On the other hand, before the election, you can make choices that can affect the election. But how do you decide what to do?

Now if you are going to do nothing but vote, then I can understand your attitude. That’s the only way you feel you can affect the election. It’s the only thing that matters.

However, other people want to influence other people and try to rally support for their candidate. For them, the polls provide good information about how they are doing. It is important to know what is happening so you know where to place your resources.

I happen to think the results of this election matter a lot, so I don’t want to leave it up to others to vote on election day. I want to try to influence people to vote for Obama. When I see evidence that that is failing, I get depressed, because the election matters a lot and I believe a Romney victory will set this country back not just four years, but at least a few extra years for every year he is in office. We are already so far behind due to Bush2 and Reagan.

I also think people are far too sanguine about Obama’s debate performance. Everyone says they expected it and it is typical. I read the same analysis they do, and I know that it is not uncommon for the incumbent to lose, but I do think the magnitude of the loss is unprecedented. Obama was up by 6 to 8 points in the popularity polls, and now he’s even. That is an unprecedented change, to my knowledge. It happened in 3 days!

The debate is a lot about style, but (and I keep meaning to ask a question about this), style seems to matter to a lot of people. A lot of people vote based on a gut feeling. Do they trust the man? Is he presidential? Does he seem strong?

Well, Romney acted strong and Obama acted like a worn out wimp. Even I, a person who can’t stand Republican ideas, thought Romney looked good, and it made me feel a tiny bit better that Romney might not be as bad as I thought he was, although my brain tells me I should choose based on emotions.

Well that pisses me off that Obama made it possible for me to feel even an ounce of warmth for Romney. And if I feel that warmth, what about the rest of the populace, who isn’t nearly as knowledgeable and analytical as I am? What about all the people who only use appearances as a basis for their choice?

Folks, Joe did a good job, but he’s only VP. Obama needs to come roaring back, but even that isn’t going to be enough. It’s going to be a huge slog in the battleground states, and Romney’s performance is going to generate a lot more money for him, and Obama’s performance is going to hurt his fundraising ability, unless there are a lot more people like me who saw it and decided we better give more to try to shore him up.

This race is dead even now, and I don’t see that changing in Obama’s favor, although I’m glad the other Democrats feel safer about this. Or maybe not. People need to get out there and do some canvassing and put up yard signs and window signs and bumper stickers and make phone calls and get Obama voters to the polls and get energized. This election matters far more than most.

We have significant pieces of legislation to protect. We’ve been fighting for 30 years to get universal health insurance, and while it ain’t perfect, if Romney gets in, we’re back to nowhere and the times of 60 million uninsured and people dying because they can’t afford care again.

Give money. Volunteer. Do not take this election for granted. Be scared! Be very scared!

ucme's avatar

I’m perfectly happy either way, but will laugh long & loud if Tit Romney does happen to win, just because I can.

ragingloli's avatar

I hope your laughing will happen inside your nuclear bunker.

Paradox25's avatar

Most independents are really Republicans (or conservatives), so Obama wasn’t going to get their vote anyways. Also the people who hate either one of Obama or Romney already were going to vote the way they wanted too regardless. The swing voters are the ones Obama seems to have lost, but I still think that Obama will take the electoral college. Like I’ve said before, Obama, like W, may win the election without winning the popular vote.

Qingu's avatar

It’s not clear Obama’s lost many swing voters. The poll bump could simply be Republican enthusiasm.

And most people are not swing voters. They make up their mind long before the election and very rarely change it. It’s just that a lot of people like to pretend that they’re on the fence, because it makes them feel open-minded and above the fray.

ucme's avatar

@ragingloli No, that’s just being an alarmist pussy, the daft bugger most likely couldn’t find the button anyway.

Buttonstc's avatar


I think the main difference between our viewpoints (even tho we are both for Obama) is that you give the poll shifts far more credit for predictive accuracy than I do. And that’s your prerogative.

But I think my attitude about the ups and downs of poll numbers is the more realistic one. As it is my right to do so :)

ETpro's avatar

@ragingloli Read this. It’s all over but the crying. Biden won and the far right lies yet again.

cheebdragon's avatar

Has Biden always had a stutter? I can’t remember noticing it before the VP debate.

woodcutter's avatar

Well I’m just glad the collective is feeling better now. It was getting pretty dicey here before.

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