Decision 2012: Annenberg live screening of the third presidential debate informs USC community

300.jpgWell over 200 students, staff, faculty and guests gathered in the East Lobby of the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism for the third presidential debate, on October 22, 2012.

This marked the final debate before Election Day leaving many in the crowd focused intently upon the candidates’ performance.

After the live screening, a bi-partisan panel discussion convened to gather opinions and
thoughts about the debate night proceedings.

Panelists included the following participants:

Jarred Ginsberg, member of USC College Republicans
Sidney Fishman, member of USC College Democrats
Matt Rodriguez, Former Western States Regional Director of Obama for America Campaign in 2008
Jonathan Wilcox, Former Speechwriter for California Governor Pete Wilson.

Matt Rodriguez began the post-debate discussion by asking the audience, “who won the debate?”

An overwhelming number of attendees indicated that current President Barack Obama appeared to have the edge during the final debate proceedings.

The panelists engaged in a conversation that detailed the different approaches each candidate used.

Panelists conferred that Obama was the aggressor while Romney played it safe. Wilcox noted, “Obama’s team felt like they had ground to make up, while Romney’s team felt like they had a cushion.”

Jarred Ginsberg furthered this notion when he added, “Obama was clearly on the attack. He wanted to come out with zingers.”

The panelists also discussed the candidates’ combative remarks regarding the largest threat to U.S. Foreign Policy.

Both panelists and audience members indicated this was the most contentious part of the debate, as both candidates spent several minutes belaboring international relations.

Additional topics addressed by the panelists included the effect of the debates on the polls, the accuracy of the polling numbers, and topics that will become central points of the News Media’s discourse during the final few weeks.

The panelists concluded the conversation by discussing how the Electoral College would play out on Election Day. Fishman, Ginsberg, and Rodriguez ultimately summed this up best when they indicated it would be a close race that would be decided by the candidates’ actions over these final two weeks.

The live screenings are brought to you in part by the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of
The USC Political Student Assembly, The USC College
Democrats, and The USC College Republicans.