Talk about lowering the bar.

Via NY Post:

It’s a further lowering of expectations ahead of the first debate in Denver next week. Democratic National Committee spokesman Brad Woodhouse tells Fox News he thinks Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney will win.

Woodhouse says the way the DNC sees it, challengers win the first debate when they are up against incumbents.

“Mitt Romney has had a lot more time to debate, the president has not debated in the past four years in terms, of a campaign debate. I think the president will hold his own, but he’s not known for sound bites. And these are 60 second, 90 second responses.”

Woodhouse says Democrats are “trying to be realistic about expectations” because the president is “lucky to be able to devote three consecutive hours to debate preparation.”

Woodhouse also paints Romney as a good debater and gives him credit for “dispatching Newt Gingrich” who Woodhouse considers a pretty good debater.

Update: I guess we know why the Obama campaign is lowering the bar to such an extreme level.

DENVER — Mitt Romney has one thing going for him headed into this week’s first presidential debate with President Obama: Voters don’t expect him to do very well.

The newest Washington Times/Zogby Poll, released Sunday, found twice as many voters think Mr. Obama will win Wednesday’s kickoff affair as think Mr. Romney will win it — and among self-identified independents, it’s even more pronounced.

Most voters said they were happy with the format of the debate, which will feature Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney and exclude third-party and independent candidates. In fact that was one area on which both Republicans and Democrats generally agreed, while independents leaned slightly in favor of adding other candidates to the mix. […]

In the Times/Zogby poll, 49 percent of voters said they expect Mr. Obama to win the debate, while just 26 percent thought Mr. Romney would triumph. Pessimism for the Republican’s chances ran particularly high among independents, who gave Mr. Obama the nod, 46-17.