NBC News | October 22, 2012
>> now chuck todd who is, after all, our political director and chief white house correspondent. chuck, you're the keeper of the numbers. we've been reporting all day -- our latest nbc polling has this national race, battlegrounds aside, national race at 47%-47%. the battlegrounds are something else entirely. for the group, the targeted audience they're looking for tonight, how much was there in this for them?
>> reporter: well, i think you did hear some of it, particularly at the end of the debate when you had the auto bailout question, and you had mitt romney , to me he gave away sort of a tell about how he thinks -- explaining why he's losing ohio, for instance. he felt the need to have to respond to the hit on the auto bailout, that he wasn't for it, and he was trying to explain what his position really was. and then he was trying to take credit away from the president and say president bush actually was the first one that started the bailout. but i wasn't for the bailout. it's interesting, a little convoluted. and sometimes when you're explaining, you're losing an answer, but i think it was a tell, if you will, brian, that he knows up there near toledo, okay, you want to split it up, we can simplify ohio, coal, the coal miner seems to be where obama is struggling down in southeast ohio , and the autoworker is seeming to be in the northeast part -- in the northwest part of the state near toledo is where romney is struggling. and it seemed that he was trying to talk to those folks. but you brought up the poll. and i think if we didn't have a poll tonight and we had no polling in this race and you watched this debate and then you asked me who is the candidate that believes they're ahead and who is the candidate that believes they're behind? president obama came across as the candidate who believes he had more that he had to accomplish with tonight's debate than mitt romney . now, the question's going to be, and i think that the debate is romneyland is going to be and among some republicans, was romney too passive? he let every single charge that the president leveled at him almost go unanswered, even some of those belittling remarks, if you will. you get to a point where you're too passive. in football terms, sometimes when you play prevent defense , brian, you prevent yourself from winning.
>> it was the first spade that they called. chuck todd , part of our team in