“You will see a different Obama than we saw in the first one because I think now he’s taking it serious,” Everhart said.
Before the first debate, which most agree that Romney won, Obama had isolated himself from anything unpleasant, Everhart said.
“He made jokes about it during the time he was supposed to be sequestered with his aides going over everything. He even made comments on TV when he would go places, and I think he didn’t have the teleprompter, and he found out that he was playing with the big boys, and you couldn’t just go up there and shoot some bull and expect people to swallow it,” Everhart said. “People check now, they’re checking the facts before you even finish speaking.”
Kerwin Swint, a political science professor at Kennesaw State University who specializes in elections, has a similar take.
“President Obama is under a good bit of pressure to step up his game, so I think what we can expect from him is a lot more energy, a lot more forcefulness, assertiveness bordering on aggression,” Swint said. “I don’t think he’s going to go too far with the aggression just because in a town hall format that may not seem appropriate, but he’s definitely going to be more on his game — at least he better be.”
Swint said historically incumbent presidents don’t perform their best in their first debate, so in that Obama was not alone.
“They haven’t debated in a while, for one thing,” Swint said. “They’re not used to being confronted for another, so they tend to get defensive or passive like he did.”
Still, even if Obama loses a second debate, don’t count on it being the end for him, Everhart and Swint said.
“He has a lot of people that are going to vote for him regardless how bad he does,” Everhart said.
A second poor performance by Obama will only continue the momentum Romney achieved from the first debate, Swint said.
State Rep. Alisha Thomas Morgan (D-Austell) said she expects Obama will better connect with the audience this time around.
“Hopefully Gov. Romney will come with more facts and more details to his plan, particularly on taxes, and hopefully the president will continue to articulate his achievement over the last four years,” Morgan said. “(Obama) has a very strong record to stand on, and so he’s going to have to continue to articulate that, and he’s going to have to connect with the audience better. Being in a town hall meeting setting I think that will be beneficial to the president because he’s a people person, so I expect he’s learned from the last debate, he knows that we have an expectation of him, more energy, more connectedness, and we know that that is in him, so I expect that we’ll see that tomorrow.”
Joe Dendy, chairman of the Cobb GOP, said there are multiple Republican viewing parties in the county this evening. Gatherings begin at 8:30 p.m. with the televised debate at 9 p.m. Meet at Tijuana Joe’s Cantina at 690 Johnson Ferry Road in Marietta; at El Nopal Mexican Restaurant, located at 3100 Creekside Village Drive in Kennesaw; or at Big Chow Grill located at the Cobb Galleria, One Galleria Parkway, Suite 1B1.
Melissa Pike, chair of the Cobb Democratic Party, said Democrats are gathering at 7 p.m. at J.R. Crickets, located at 4479 South Cobb Drive in Smyrna, and at Brunswick Zone XL, located at 775 Cobb Place Boulevard Northwest in Kennesaw.