I agree with just about everybody else in the free world that Mitt Romney won the first debate against President Obama, but I don't think it was quite the beatdown some think it was. Yes, Romney was good, but sometimes the other team helps you win, and Obama was just awful. Republicans in danger of becoming overconfident should remember that the next debate is a town hall format in which the questions will be asked by "undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization."
Any time I’ve watched a town hall debate with participants chosen in this way, it seems to me most of the “undecideds” skewed left. Who, by October 16, will be sincerely undecided? My guess is a bunch of that crowd will be disillusioned former Obama supporters who might not be looking for information so much as rationales for not abandoning their guy.
Tip for the Romney camp: Prepare as if the entire audience will be from a 2008 Obama rally.
Another word or two about these so-called undecideds—by October 16, the truly undecided might also be the woefully uninformed. This can lead to simplistic and even silly questions, questions that ramble endlessly, taking up precious time before getting to a point, or even the completely irrelevant “boxers vs. briefs” inquiries.
Not sure about the "skewing left" part, but "undecided equals uninformed" is about right, and I think the audience-participation format probably favors Obama. Romney is clearly the best in a head-to-head matchup, but this will be a less-formal setup of the kind Obama seems to like.
Oh, and by the way, you "undecideds" are really starting to annoy us:
You’re an undecided voter. Your time is up. The rest of us are sick of pretending to care about you, saying nice things to you, doing your damn laundry.
[. . .]
I’m going to let you in on a little secret, after many years of sitting with you during past presidential debates: we don’t like you. Not because you can’t make up your mind, but because you won’t.
This is by a New York Times writer who clearly prefers Obama, so he made the wrong decision. But at least he made one. At this late date, how hard do you have to work at staying so uninformed you don't know which of the two candidates most closely matches your philosophy?