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The first presidential debate
Though he performed significantly better in the two subsequent debates, President Obama's lackluster appearance in the first debate worried supporters and allowed Mitt Romney a victory lap. Romney persistently placed Obama on the defensive, and the incumbent stumbled along with guarded, unfocused arguments. Romney's strong performance arguably led to a tightening in the polls, however temporary it may have been. Shifting toward the center, and adopting what Obama would later call a case of "Romnesia," Romney appeared at his best after a rigorous practice schedule and a lengthy series of debates during the Republican primary.