Debate-Expectations Lowering 2.0: Media Won’t Let Romney Win

LANCASTER, OH - OCTOBER 12: Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) and Republican vice presidential candidate, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) speak on stage at a rally on October 12, 2012 in Lancaster, Ohio. The two were campaigning a day after Ryan's debate with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)
Photo: Jamie Sabau/2012 Getty Images

One might think that decisively beating President Obama in one presidential debate would increase Mitt Romney’s chances of winning their second matchup, but Republicans say he’s now the victim of his own success. A senior Romney adviser tells Politico, “It’s going to be very hard to find observers to say [Obama] was just as bad as he was in the first debate … the last debate sort of lowered a lot of expectations in the minds of many observers.” “Perhaps Romney’s biggest challenge will be overcoming a Gang of 500 who would love nothing more than reporting ‘Obama wins round by KO’ lede,” adds GOP strategist Brad Dayspring. “Obama the comeback kid is a very appealing story line.” Obviously we can rule out the possibility that journalists will honestly report on the president’s performance, but what if they’re holding out for the “Third Time’s the Charm” headline?

GOP Debate Prediction: Media Won’t Let Mitt Win