Dr. Owen’s Election Scorecard - October 19

Editor’s note: This post is part of a weekly series by Dr. Owen that we will feature on on weekends until Election Day. They are part of a blog being run by Affan Chowdhry of the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail. The blog series will focus on providing a weekly campaign scorecard for each candidate.

This week's full blog post can be read at the Globe and Mail's website here.

Mitt Romney and Barack Obama were in attack mode during the second presidential debate. They confronted each other using verbal and physical tactics, like shouting and moving around the stage. Candidates typically have more congenial exchanges in a town-hall format because they are attempting to appeal to the citizen questioners, but that was certainly not the case on Tuesday night.

The debate put the spotlight on undecided voters who posed the questions. Both candidates have been accused of ignoring the undecided in favour of energizing their base of partisan voters. Undecided voters in this campaign may be difficult to target, but if the election is close, they should certainly not be discounted.

Analysts gave the edge to Mr. Obama because he performed better than expected in the debate, and seemed to come out on top of a heated exchange over Libya.

However, the debate isn’t why Mr. Obama won the week. Even political junkies are growing weary of the barrage of nasty campaign messages. Mega-watt stars – blue-collar rocker Bruce Springsteen and former President Bill Clinton – campaigned for Mr. Obama in the battleground state of Ohio scoring top headlines. The highlight was an acoustic set by “The Boss” that included a short campaign song he wrote for Mr. Obama.