Experts Suggest Ways Obama, Romney Can Sway Voters

    x
    Pamela Dockins
    As U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney prepare for the first of their three debates, analysts weigh in with their thoughts about what each candidate will need to do to sway voters in this pivotal election event.

    Recent polls have given the president an edge heading into Wednesday's showdown. Given that trend, Larry Sabato, director of the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, said the president's job will be to maintain the status quo.

    "I don't think he has to draw any grand designs about a second term," he said.

    The 2012 Presidential Debate Schedule

    • October 3: Moderator asks questions on domestic policy
    • October 16: Town hall meeting in which undecided voters ask questions on domestic, foreign issues
    • October 22: Moderator asks questions on foreign policy
    Crucial night for Romney

    Sabato said for Romney, though, it is a very different situation.

    "Most people see the debates - the first one in particular - as a do-or-die moment for him," he said.

    Vanderbilt University political science professor Marc Hetherington said Romney can win over voters in the debates if he sticks to what he is good at doing.

    "Governor Romney needs to stay focused on the things that people, at least up until recently, have viewed him as the stronger advocate for. And that is economic concerns. His background in business seems to be something that people have generally liked," said Hetherington.

    Stand-ins for moderator Jim Lehrer (C), Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and President Barack Obama (R), run through a rehearsal for the first presidential debate on Wednesday at the University of Denver, inStand-ins for moderator Jim Lehrer (C), Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and President Barack Obama (R), run through a rehearsal for the first presidential debate on Wednesday at the University of Denver, in
    x
    Stand-ins for moderator Jim Lehrer (C), Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and President Barack Obama (R), run through a rehearsal for the first presidential debate on Wednesday at the University of Denver, in
    Stand-ins for moderator Jim Lehrer (C), Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (L) and President Barack Obama (R), run through a rehearsal for the first presidential debate on Wednesday at the University of Denver, in
    Swaying undecided voters

    He said both candidates will have to push hard to connect with undecided voters.

    "That's, of course, the trick at this point - figuring out who you can move at this late stage in the game [this close to the election]," said Hetherington.

    Brookings Institution analyst Stephen Hess said that for both men, it is a question of likability. He said Obama will need to defend his record without coming across as overly aggressive.

    "We can expect that he will be attacked. That's the nature of debates. And one thing he has to do is not lose his cool. Some people find him a bit 'uncool' - arrogant, if you will," said Hess.

    Seeking charisma, leadership

    Hess said there generally are two schools of thought concerning Romney.

    "There's the one that says the American people are not terribly comfortable with him as a man, and it is very important for him to be better liked - likability. Then the other school would, of course, be that this is his opportunity to show strong leadership," he said.

    Hess said the November presidential election will be largely about the economy, and both candidates will have to stress that issue in the debates.

    Related video report by Cindy Saine:

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnami
    X
    Elizabeth Lee
    May 22, 2016 6:04 AM
    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.
    Video

    Video Budding Young Inventors Tackle City's Problems with 3-D Printing

    Every city has problems, and local officials and politicians are often frustrated by their inability to solve them. But surprising solutions can come from unexpected places. Students in Baltimore. Maryland, took up the challenge to solve problems they identified in their city, and came up with projects and products to make a difference. VOA's June Soh has more on a digital fabrication competition primarily focused on 3-D design and printing. Carol Pearson narrates.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora