Presidential debate: Incumbent usually struggles with first faceoff, even Reagan and Obama, expert say

Biden's first debate performance may survive. Longtime leaders win.  Bad debate nights. Understand "Friday, Obama wrote X.  

After a terrible Trump showdown, the media slammed Biden and his party. Before the debate, polls were deadlocked, but Trump gained ground over the weekend.   

Trump said, "I have no idea what he just said." Mistake by Biden. Texas Rep. Lloyd Doggett was the first elected Democrat to urge Biden to drop out of the 2024 presidential race and let a new contender challenge Trump on Tuesday.   

Democratic governors meet Biden this week. Biden Campaign Chair Jen O'Malley Dillon says "every incumbent president that I can remember in my lifetime has had an s----- first debate."  

"Obviously, the stakes are higher for us because we are up against Donald Trump," says. Since the 2012 debate was bad and the president is 81, we must work harder. I existed. Remembered."   

Dillon said Biden may switch like his predecessors in June. "Why was President Obama so bad?" wondered the leftist Washington Post after Obama's first Romney debate in 2012.   

Politico labelled the first of three Denver debates on Oct. 3, 2012, "Obama stumbles"; Obama wins a second term.  Obama "was virtually unrecognisable to the person who swept to victory in 2008." argues the Post.   

He said Denver's altitude scared the president. Reagan lost the Oct. 7, 1984, Louisville debate to Mondale. Reagan conducted polls at age. Oldest president at 73. Slate chose Mondale from seven points.   

In the Bush-Kerry debate, Pew found voter motivation outweighed debate performance. Bush "overwhelmingly" supported Kerry despite voter disapproval.   

"They deal with these issues in a very deep way, more so than they did as candidates, as president," says. Some confuse topic comprehension with presidential debate performance.  

Carter's first Reagan debate debacle snared the incumbent. Performance matters. Americans like Republicans' "better message," but O'Donnell hates bias.   

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