Debate

Dickinson students narrowly choose Romney for the win

2012-10-04T00:15:00Z 2012-10-24T22:05:18Z Dickinson students narrowly choose Romney for the winChristen Croley, The Sentinel The Sentinel
October 04, 2012 12:15 am  • 

A crowd of Dickinson College students say Romney came out on top during Wednesday's presidential debate.

The students chose Gov. Romney as the overall winner in a close vote based upon delivery and performance.

David Miltsein, 22 and co-president of the College Republicans, said he believed the governor increased his likability with voters and overcame previous assertions that he was “out of touch” with middle class Americans. “I think Romney did a great job exposing the president’s record,” said Milstein. “He used a lot of good hard facts.”

Milstein, along with his co-president, Alex Egnar, 21, agree with the narrow majority of students who chose Romney as the victor.

“I think both candidates made good points,” said Egnar. “There were some zingers in there, but I think Romney won.”

The students voted individual winners for several categories, as described in a flyer handed out by the event moderator and a political science professor at Dickinson College, Dr. Brandon Lenoir. Lenoir asked the students a series of questions after the debate which included: who spoke in the most plain language, who avoided questions and who focused on issues important to young voters.

The students agreed the candidates scored dead even on almost every question except when it came to young voters, for which Obama won the most points. Romney’s aggressive tone ultimately edged out Obama for the majority vote of who won among the students.

Will Nelligan, 20, saw the debate differently.

“Governor Romney certainly played the expectations game better, but at the end of day, I think Obama won this debate,” said Nelligan, who is an active member of the College Democrats. “I think they were both admirably very restrained and respectful of one another ... but I think Obama did an excellent job of rising above the fray, where Romney was a little too aggressive and insistent at times, Obama was very good at modulating his emotions and retaining his likability with voters.”

More than 100 students packed The Depot at Dickinson College in Carlisle to watch the debates and take part in the discussion afterwards, based on lessons from Lenoir’s campaign strategy class.

“Unlike the way the network news covers the debates by bringing in hired guns from each side of the aisle to basically frame how you should look at the debate and cue you in on specific issues, with this event I’m taking an academic approach and getting the students to look and pay attention to the nuts and bolts of delivery, body language, who actually answers the questions, those types of things,” said Lenoir in the minutes leading up the debate.

Lenoir says he wants his students to approach the debate from more than a partisan viewpoint. He says candidates who stick to the issues and avoid character attacks leave a better impression on voters, despite the claims by mainstream political commentators to the contrary.

“That’s where political science and political punditry part ways,” said Lenoir. “The candidate who focuses on answering the questions and giving some solid answers and focusing on the policies will do a lot better than the candidate constantly trying to throw mud.”

After the debate ended, Lenoir addressed the crowd of students and asked how many had not yet chosen which candidate to support. Only a handful of students identified themselves as “undecided voters.”

Evan Dodson, 22, says the economy is the number issue as one of those undecided voters.

“I think a steady plan and a strong plan for the economy is the most important thing to the people right now,” said Dodson. “I’m looking for a candidate who is strong in his beliefs and strong in the direction he wants to lead the country.”

Siobhan O’Grady, 20, says the president embodies the strength and commitment desired by independent voters like Dodson.

“I want to dedicate my life to making the world a better place and I think that’s what Barack Obama stands for,” said O’Grady.

For his part, Lenoir says he agrees with choice the students made.

“It was clear that Romney came on the attack, President Obama seemed more laid back. He livened up toward the end, but I think Romney came with a game plan and stuck to it,” said Lenoir. “I think from a debate perspective, Romney scored points.”

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(9) Comments

  1. michael
    Report Abuse
    michael - October 09, 2012 12:28 pm
    Which ones?
  2. michael
    Report Abuse
    michael - October 09, 2012 12:25 pm
    4 years ago, CNN had commentators actually admit we knew 'nothing" about POTUS. We knew and know plenty. He had his head handed to him in debate, and fact is people are starting to realize the tax man cometh, and he cometh for YOU. The fact is his definition of rich is anyone except his friends and his family. How many "stimulus" sollars were funnelled to PBS?? FACT is he has run the ship further into the rocks.
    I guess you will just have to live with yourself if you would vote for that again.
  3. BuckHunter
    Report Abuse
    BuckHunter - October 08, 2012 10:28 pm
    Many of Romney's "facts" have been shown to be false. Just look it up on Politifact or any of the other sources that fact check. Be an AMERICAN and actually do the research. This is your next four years too.
  4. RaySampsin
    Report Abuse
    RaySampsin - October 06, 2012 4:05 pm
    At what point did Romney back up his claims of not needing to raise taxes, though? And when did he actually give specifics of his plan? He did not elaborate on one change he would make other than 'closing loopholes' and cutting funding to PBS which would not pay for the gas for Airforce One for a year. I think both candidates ignored presenting real facts because frankly most of the public doesn't want facts. They want zingers and one-liners, a horribly poor commentary on our society.
  5. m2cw
    Report Abuse
    m2cw - October 05, 2012 9:54 am
    I believe Gov Romney won because he presented more facts with his presentation than President Obama.

    Had President Obama backed up his claim that Gov Romney's tax plan would add $5 trillion to the deficit with hard facts as to how he calculated that number, he would have scored big pojnts. Instead he chose to just repeat this allegation, even though Gov Romney denied that will happen with his plan.

  6. Newtville
    Report Abuse
    Newtville - October 04, 2012 6:24 pm
    Nelligan must have been watching a DVD of a McCain debate. You get a free one with a $3 donation to the campaign. And a picture of Moochelle.
  7. hahahehehaha
    Report Abuse
    hahahehehaha - October 04, 2012 3:44 pm
    What? Were these students watching the same debate I saw. The Pres was slow & looked like he didn't even want to be there. He thinks he has this all wrapped up, with his negative campaign and the media on his side. Obama does better with a teleprompter when someone else writes his speeches. Romney was sharp and well spoken on all topics. He forgot more than Obama knows about Economics. We need a business man like Romney running this country rather than a professional campaigner like Obama
  8. Aaron Hock
    Report Abuse
    Aaron Hock - October 04, 2012 2:26 pm
    This is simply not true. Many students will be paying for their own education after graduation, and are only attending Dickinson because (1) they have done well academically in order to have been accepted and (2) they are receiving grants, loans, and scholarships in order to afford the school. I understand that it is easy to loop all students into the mold of "upper-Middle class New Englanders", but that is not the case, and I ask you not to generalize.
  9. pystil
    Report Abuse
    pystil - October 04, 2012 7:28 am
    Students with parents who pay $40,000 a year for them to attend Dickinson, surely know where there bread is best buttered.
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