And then there were none…

Published 7:46 am Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The third and final presidential debate just finished, and all I can do is give a sigh of relief. After three presidential debates, one vice presidential debate, and 19 primary debates we are finally done.

Tuesday night’s debate focused on foreign policy. That subject alone was probably enough to have a smaller viewing audience, after two record audiences viewing in the first two debates.

The greater reason that people might have tuned out of this third debate is that there was serious competition for the viewing public’s attention. Monday Night Football and the National League’s playoffs are pretty stiff competition for the American voter’s time.

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The truth is that most people have already made up their mind. There are a shrinking number of undecided voters left, although they may be the very voters that make the difference in this election.

Going into the debate, a new Wall Street Journal/ NBC News Poll showed that the race is in an absolute tie. A horserace of 47 percent to 47 percent on a national level is unprecedented, with two weeks left in the election.

Everyone reading this column heard in a civics class in school that your vote counts. While the Bush/Gore race in 2000 hinged on a few votes, it was not a statistical tie at this point in the race. Going in to this election, the public knows that their vote potentially will really make a difference in this election.

It was somewhat refreshing in this debate that Romney and Obama agreed on many of the foreign policy issues. That is reassuring to me. Everything we advocate after two wars and fighting terror around the world cannot and should not be polar opposites.

The candidates of both parties should have more in common than not. After all, before we are Democrat or Republican, we are Americans.

So now we are down to the final two weeks. Thankfully, the pundits are saying the race may hinge on some other states besides Ohio. Who isn’t tired of hearing that whoever wins Ohio wins the presidency? The capital of the country isn’t in Cleveland.

With two weeks to go, we are left with several facts. Romney has the momentum. Obama has some demographic advantages in the swing states. Your television will be completely overwhelmed with hundreds of millions of dollars of political advertising, particularly if you are tuned into a Florida station.

I voted for hope and change four years ago. I have already voted this year for another kind of change. I won’t presume to tell you how you should vote. I will say that your vote makes a difference, not only in this election but in the other issues on this ballot.

Exercise your right to vote. It is the cornerstone of this great American experiment called democracy.