As the first presidential debate approaches, Obama and Romney continue to play the I'm-not-a-great-debater game, and according to Monday's ABC News/Washington Post poll, Romney is winning.
"Registered voters by 2-1 think Barack Obama will win the upcoming presidential debates," ABC News reported.
It's a game of who can manufacture low expectations, then exceed those expectations to come out the pundit-nominated winner.
Last week Republican Vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said on Fox News:
"Look, President Obama is a very — he's a very gifted speaker. The man's been on the national stage for many years ... he's done these kinds of debates before. This is Mitt's first time on this kind of a stage."
Obama countered on Sunday night to a crowd of 11,000 in Las Vegas, saying, “Governor Romney is a good debater. I’m just okay."
Obama has a marginal lead in the polls, and the race is still close, even though a large majority of Americans think he will win Wednesday’s debate. And that might be good for Romney if he can put on a performance that will allow or justify some pundit saying, "Romney surprised me. He did better than expected."
But low expectations should also worry the Romney campaign.
According to ABC News/Washington Post's poll, 63 percent of registered voters expect Obama will win the election, while 56 percent expect Obama to "win" Wednesday's debate. Only 31 percent expect a victorious Romney in the election, and 29 percent expect he'll prevail in the debate. And in politics, perception matters.
On Good Morning America David Muir reports: