Saturday, October 02, 2004

Belated Debate #1 Assessment 

I'm still going through some US election overload, so I watched the debate on Thursday night with some reluctance. My thoughts on it, therefore, are based from a rather cynical perspective. But watched (part of) it I did, so smart-aleck comments aside, I thought I'd share my two cents.

First off, my evaluation is based almost entirely on style, not substance, simply because I don't expect much of the latter in these things. And on that note, I have to say that Senator Kerry won the debate. He was more composed and had a steadier performance than President Bush. I understand that some in the conservative community find that the President's inarticulateness is sometimes "humanizing" and a strong point, but I'm not convinced that a debate on national security policy is the place to show that trait.

All that being said, I think that these things are still pretty much even in the long run. Kerry will get a 3%-4% bounce in the electorate, which should level off by the October 8 debate. Note that this will not numerically bear out in any actual poll you'll read, due to the inherent response lag in opinion polls. Those will probably show something more like a 2%-3% raise which will level off some time later than October 8, depending on the candidates' performance then.

And if you really want to soak in the cynicism over talking points (specifically Kerry's), read yesterday's Bleat (via Shotgun). It's what people write when nobody would pull the plug on that blasted skipping record player.
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