America expects Obama to win first debate (VIDEO)


US President Barack Obama speaks at a campaign rally at Desert Pines High School on Sept. 30, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Obama is scheduled to be in Henderson, Nevada through Wednesday preparing for his first presidential debate against Republican presidential candidate, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.


John Gurzinski

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: