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Born at the Crest of the Empire

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Debate opinions?

As wonky as I am, I can't make it through more than an hour of these debates.

I'm not going to venture an opinion on who won, because I'm always wrong, but my main thought is that this wasn't a "game changer," so, as the polls are likely to be the same tomorrow, I'll say Obama wins.

Brokaw was a clear joke.

Oh, and "that one"....?

I'll link the snap polls and other details here as they come in.

CNN poll: "Who did the best job in the debate?" Obama 54/30.

On favorable/unfavorable, Obama came out 64 favorable/34 unfavorable, +8 from before the debate. McCain was exactly the same before and after at 51/48. (That's a big favorables gap.)

Who would better handle Iraq? Obama 41, McCain 47.
The economy, Obama 59, 37
The financial crisis, Obama 57, 36

CBS snap poll: Uncommitted voters. Obama won 39. McCain won 27. Draw 25.

"After the debate, 68 percent of uncommitted voters said that they think Obama will make the right decisions on the economy, compared to 54 percent who said that before the debate. Fewer thought McCain would do so – 49 percent after the debate, and 41 percent before"

So, whether you think he won or not, Obama got his message out and got high ratings on the economy, favorables, and tied on Iraq. That's an Obama win.


  • Yawn.

    Same old, same old. My only impressions were superficial. McCain just strikes me as a physically jerky and emotionally cranky old bastard -- a throwback to another time. Obama is smart, composed, and presidential. McCain keeps trying to sell himself as a warrior. Obama is selling himself as someone who directs warriors.

    I liked Obama's comment that we need a president and a foreign policy that "can see around the corner" rather than just reacting to events.

    By Blogger -epm, at 9:59 PM  

  • One of McCain's real drawbacks is that his bad shoulders make him look tense and angry, but, even with that said, yeah, he did come across as agitated.

    Again, I'm not good at this, but I, too, saw a wash.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:02 PM  

  • I'm not picking on McCain's physical limitations. I don't think so, anyway. I get that he was tortured and his shoulders are messed up, but he seemed jerky and erratic (if you will) as he moved about the stage. He made me feel like he was either lashing out at the audience or, at times, pleading with them.

    You have to know how to work within your limitations.

    McCain is certainly confident in his abilities, he just doesn't come off as reassuringly competent as... That One.

    By Blogger -epm, at 10:31 PM  

  • I completely agree with you. I think "agitated" is the word, I'd use.

    I just poinmt out the shoulders every once in awhile because even when he's relaxed he looks a little tense.

    And, the polling would certainly bear out your observations.

    Also, I find it interesting that the last two post debate threads were loaded, while after this debate, nobody but us seems to want to talk. I don't know what that says.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:37 PM  

  • ************

    I'm going to bed.

    More tomorrow, I'm sure.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:42 PM  

  • CNN snap poll:

    Who expressed his views more clearly in the debate?
    Obama 60
    McCain 30

    Who seemed to be the stronger leader?
    Obama 54
    McCain 43

    These are significant emotional, connecting with the voter, issues and Obama runs away with it. (To the extent that this snap poll has any efficacy).

    I think it may reinforce my observation that McCain is arguing he's a great fighter, but Obama is argue he's a great leader.

    By Blogger -epm, at 10:44 PM  

  • Yeah. The more info we see, the more clear he won, and with all the "non-emotional" "cool" (whatever you want to call it) observations by the press, he connects.

    And, if he's tied/winning on Iraq, on leadership. It;s over. (Barring that standard a meteor might come disqualifier.)

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:07 AM  

  • Morning after observations:

    a) I'm suffering from campaign fatigue and just want this election over.... with "that guy" in the WH of course. I think this is an increasingly common sentiment as folks firm up on their candidate commitments.

    b) The undecideds are not ignorant, stupid or "ow-info voters. They are folks who have commitment issues and probably have trouble making a menu selection at a restaurant. Capturing the undecided voter is an emotional, marketing challenge, not a political one. It has more to do with courting than campaigning.

    c) As Palin/McCain move forward with their scorched earthy campaign, they will affect the polls, but only at the fringes. They're really running defense, not offense. They trying to keep the base (and leaners?) on the reservation. They're not trying to attract new voters to their cause.

    d) Turn out, turn out, turn out. Historically GOP good, DEM bad. That has to change. Period.

    By Blogger -epm, at 7:45 AM  

  • b) I've long held to the belief that most of the undecideds have a substantial lean, but are put off by one concern (inexperience) or one issue (pro-life/pro-choice.)

    In the end, though, they'll mostly vote their lean. (But because they won't answer pollsters, we can't be sure what that lean is.)

    Bottom line. McCain has to win every single undecided right now to win, and that ain't happening.

    c) Yeah, I don't know. I could be wrong, but thus far it doesn't seem to be resonating. They've been throwing it through Palin since Saturday and the trackings haven't moved at all. Today is supposed to be their big TV rollout for the attacks. We'll have to see.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 7:59 AM  

  • McCain was very different from the last debate, IMO. He was clearly suppressing a lot of rage, but he controlled his deprecations and sarcasm. If I hadn't seen the last debate, I suppose McCain would have seemed angrier, but by comparison he was more controlled this time around.

    Which leads to the question, "Who is the real John McCain"?
    This is what he is asking about Obama, but McCain has changed so dramatically and erratically over the past few months that nobody knows who is or what he stands for anymore.

    I said a few months ago that it would be hard for McCain to improve his "favourables" because everyone already knows him - everyone likely to like him already does - but he undid that by creating multiple McCains. Not so much "re-branding" as adding different flavours. But this isn't a soda marketing campaign, and the brand has become diluted.

    By Blogger Todd Dugdale, at 8:42 AM  

  • Mike. Good observation on b). I know you've mentioned undecideds-are-really-leaners before, but I never picked up on the single-issue reservations before. Makes sense.

    Still, does that make them emotionally motivated or politically motivated? I say, given the enormity of the job of president, if you're hung up on a single issue it's emotional. But I like you're argument regarding undecideds.

    Regarding c) (character assassinations) I do think it will affect 1-2 points on the fringe. Maybe moving the weak leans to undecided. And I do think it's resonating with the red-meat base voters... it will motivate the base to get out the vote.

    By Blogger -epm, at 8:42 AM  

  • I don't know how I forgot to mention this, but something that struck me like a ton of bricks was that McCain enthusiastically mentioned Joe Lieberman three times. But his actual running mate? Zero.

    What does this tell us? Anything? Nothing?

    By Blogger -epm, at 10:08 AM  

  • Todd, yeah, but the frustration seemed to come out the seams to me in some of the asides, awkward moments, body language, etc.

    To me, McCain does still have a pretty strong "personality" brand. The problem is, people are finding it more unfavorable as we see what that means under the stress and constant examination of a campaign.

    The campaign has been all over the place, but I think the real damage is that people have now made a judgment on McCain the man, and that's probably not going to change.


    EPM, yeah, I think it is emotional to some degree. I also think on alot of these, their unease/desire is virtually unanswerable. Watching some of the televised "focus groups" people were saying things like, "but I need SPECIFICS on the health plan."

    Obama gave specifics, but what I think what they want is a piece of paper in their hand saying this is exactly what it will cost and this is what you'll get, and that's not gonna happen.

    Or the undecideds who talk about jobs. The only way they would be satisfied is if a plan opened in their area before either man was president.

    AS TO the character stuff, I still don't know. Certainly an argument that it might move some can't be disputed, but the polling thus far has shown nothing to indicate that, and Obama's "presidential" "cares about me" and "leadership numbers are actually going up.

    By Blogger mikevotes, at 10:52 AM  

  • By Blogger jeje, at 3:17 AM  

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