By Jack Cozens
Barely one month ago, it appeared that Barack Obama’s presidency might have been slipping away from him, after a disastrous opening Presidential debate left many questioning his ability to lead the nation. Tonight however, he stands triumphant, having defeated rival Mitt Romney after winning a number of crucial swing states.
With traditional voting patterns taking hold across the country, it was Obama who successfully harnessed the support of the swing state voters, to secure a second term in the White House.
Following his poor performance in the first debate, Obama and his team acted swiftly to move on from his perceived failure – one gallup poll recording it as the most one-sided presidential debate ever recorded – and successfully enticed the support of Latino voters by dedicating a memorial to civil rights activist Cesar Chavez.
The move was a smart one from the Democratic team, as it allowed funds to be raised which could crucially be out towards advertising in key swing states such as Ohio, which have ultimately paid off.
Obama’s acts in the aftermath of his defeat were decisive, and at least plugged the drain of support for his re-elction campaign. The President came out in much stronger form for the second debate, and following the second debate began to pick apart his adversary’s policies, accusing Romney of trying to sell the American public a “sketchy deal.” whilst also making light of the Governor’s reluctancy to provide gender equality.
The tide had turned by the end of the third and final debate, with 53% of voters in a CBS poll believing that Obama had won the debate, with the debate focused more on foreign policy. The President’s strong performances had nonetheless merely clawed back a deficit that he had created for himself in the first place, with political insiders and numerous publications predicting an extraordinarily close fight.
The arrival of Superstorm Sandy provided an opportunity for Romney to scrutinise the President’s response, however it is arguable that Obama’s performance in this period played a significant role in him retaining office, after receiving widespread approval for his actions in response to the storm – none more significant than from Chris Christie, the Republican governor for New Jersey, who had previously been a fierce opponent of Obama.
As the race entered its final stage, Obama made an emotional return to Iowa in a bid to re-capture the spirit that sparked his first election campaign. Eluding to his campaign message the first time round, Obama appealed to his supporters not to “give up on change”, shedding a tear at the end of his campaign speech.
It was a nervous wait for Obama and his team, particularly with Romney announcing that he would continue rallying on election day. Despite Romney carving out an early lead through Republican strongholds, it soon became apparent that it would become difficult for the Governor to win the race, and indeed shortly after 10:40 EST came the announcement that both Oregon and Ohio – one of the key swing states – had been called in Obama’s favour, and with that the news that the President had an unassailable lead in the votes.
Whether or not it was Obama who won himself a second term, or indeed Romney who shot himself in the foot too often, the President and his campaign team can breathe a sigh of relief after clawing back a major deficit and ultimately securing a comfortable victory.