"An era can be said to end when its basic illusions are exhausted." - Arthur Miller

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

2nd Presidential Debate Wrap-Up

Well a little late but here it is. My brief wrap up of the debate (video here). Long story short, Obama won it. McCain needed a victory, the bigger the better, but it didn't happen. Obama simply landed more hits to McCain's rather weak "he doesn't understand" attempts. Sadly the debate itself focused only briefly on the economy before shifting focus to foreign policy which essentially resulted in the same answers as the first debate. Brokaw as moderator was a fail as his questions didn't really provide any new insight on why undecided’s should choose one candidate over another.

I think the net result on polling will be a slight bump for Obama but hard to tell if that is because of the debate or because a continuation of his momentum which will probably hit a ceiling soon (only so many undecideds left after all). If your already pro a particular candidate you probably didn't hear anything to make you doubt your choice. I still don't think the election accounts for closet racism which will lead to a much close election then polls currently indicate.

At this point I don't see the third debate accomplishing much of anything. I doubt either candidate will commit major gaffes of any importance (sorry "that one" in context of the guy standing next to him isn't a gaffe) that will alter the campaign. For the undecideds that remain, more then likely they will not make a decisive decision until they walk into booth to vote and then I am betting most will vote along whatever party affiliation they have in the past.

Fact Check debate statements

CBS - poll of 500 undecided voters
Impact on voter preference: 15% Obama, 14% McCain, 70% uncommitted (basically no change from VP debate, net result a wash)
Trust on Economy: McCain - 41% before, 49% after; Obama - 54% before, 68% after
Understands Needs: McCain - 35% before, 46% after; Obama - 60% before, 80% after
Ready to be President: McCain - 80% before, 84% after; Obama - 42% before, 57% after
Answer questions: 57% yes, 42% no for both candidates
Again a wash. Obama is strong on economy and needs but lack of faith overall in prepared for the job of being President mitigates those gains.

CNN - poll of those that watched the debate
Stronger leader: 54% Obama, 43% McCain
More likeable: 65% Obama, 28% McCain
More intelligent: 57% Obama, 25% McCain
Clearly expressed himself: 60% Obama, 30% McCain
More Negative: 63% McCain, 17% Obama
Answered questions: 50% Obama, 37% McCain
Care more about problems: 50% Obama, 36% McCain
Seemed like "typical politician": McCain by a 16pt margin
Favorable opinion: Obama - before 60%, after 64%; McCain - unchanged

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