Saturday, September 27, 2008

And the 1st debate winner is...

Polling wrap up on the debate (I'm not linking all of these - feel free to google):

Jon Taplin - Leans towards Obama, but thinks the media will call it a draw.

Media - gives it to Obama with Obama sweeping the independents category.

CBS poll gives it to Obama, but in the category of decisions about Iraq, give it to McCain. Uncommitted voters lean towards Obama.

CNN had Obama winning overall and sweeping the categories. 

Fox News - can’t seem to find a straight answer anywhere. If I was cynical I would take that to mean that their polls also show Obama winning the debate. 

MSNBC - polls have Obama

BBC - Their commentator gave it to McCain, but only slightly. Their round up of other commentators ended up as 4 for Obama, 2 for McCain, and 2 a draw.

My Take - I’m not sure. It is hard for me to distinguish between what I thought and what I think other people would think about what was happening. I thought Obama failed in one area I thought he was good at: directly answering a question. He was likely the first politician I had ever seen do this in a debate in the primaries and I was sad to see it go away last night. I thought McCain did well, even if I didn’t agree with many of the things he said he at least seemed to answer the questions a bit more than Obama. I thought that people would lean towards McCain as the winner in this over Obama, as he lead the discussions and put Obama on the defensive to which again, Obama picked up the Biden Bug and just rambled on. But after looking at these polls, Obama seems to have really taken it. Go figure.

The Rational Moderate


Drew said...

I expected SO much more. I can hear the talking points anywhere- I wanted actual emotion from both of them. People like McCain because he is (or was) a loose cannon. He looked like a neutered dog forcing that creepy smile. And Obama? I could learn to dislike him quickly if he keeps rambling like that. Bring on Biden v. Palin.

Rational Moderate said...

I was right about the fox polls, they went for Obama.

Mike D. said...

Amy always calls me a curmudgeon and I guess she is right because here it comes: I hate polls and I hate political debates. Polls are the opinions of a few which mascaraed around as the will of the whole. What is worse about polls is they are touted as fact by many media outlets and treated as such by the uninformed (not to suggest this was done here, rather that it occurs all too often in major media outlets). Political debates, especially presidential ones and others of this magnitude, are useless. They are just a group of predetermined talking points which evoke answers we have known for months. I have been watching some coverage of the debates and the one thing that I have heard more then anything else is the lack of discussion on the economy (especially by McCain). With the state of the economy and the fact McCain almost backed out to work on the bailout, I would have thought there would have been more said. I don't like either, polls or debates, so I am just going to sit back in my lazy chair, drink prune juice, and watch Matlock. You take away Matlock and I am going to bop you a good one!

Rational Moderate said...

1) While I agree that polls are not accurate, to say that they are useless is incorrect as well. It matters what you are doing with them and I was using them to gauge people's reaction to the debate against my own. I think this is a perfectly reasonable use of polling statistics. The notion that you can use statistics to prove anything is the same as saying you can use words to define anything the way you like. Both of these statements are true and both are useless. The question is if the statistical data gathering and analysis were done correctly. If they were they you do have access to some decent information.
2) The focus of this debate was not the economy but foreign policy so that we got some questions in about the economy was a credit to Jim Lehrer. It's also not surprising that they had little to say about the current situation since it was changing by the minute and has most economists struggling to figure out exactly what is going on. Remember the bailout is really a check to Paulson to go out and try some things to see what works, not a real step by step plan covering every facet of fixing the economy.
3) Would you rather not have debates? I would argue against your notion that they do not impact the election since many undetermined voters specifically wait for the debates to make up their minds.