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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Debate #3 

Well, if it wasn't clear after the first debate it is clear after three of them -- John Kerry is a far more effective debate than George Bush. But a good debater does not make a good President. I think Kerry "won" tonight on policy matters -- never mind that I thought he was completely full of it on the substance, he served up answers that the voters who are concerned with domestic policy want to hear. Bush did better on the "personal" questions -- those that related to religion and family. I am not a very religious person -- I go to church about one week in four, and largely to set a good example. But I am also not offended by overt religiousity, which Bush expresses as movingly as anybody in American politics. His expression of his faith is so vastly more attractive than that of our last evangelical President, Jimmy Carter, that I do not understand why people are so much more offended by Bush's religion than they were by Carter's.

In any case, the real question will be how the press spins this debate. If post-debate polls count only answers of people who watched the debate, there will be two factors that heavily influence the results. First, I wonder how many people in this country are actually going to vote on the basis of domestic policy (I mean, other than the guy behind the MSNBC set with the sign that says "Screw Iraq, I need a job"). The people who care about foreign policy the most may have bailed to watch baseball.

Second, a lot of people, particularly in the Boston - New York corridor, will have bailed to watched baseball in any case. If major league city-dwellers generally are more likely to be baseball fans and Kerry voters, did that skew the debate-watching population to the right?

I doubt the polls move much in the next few days. It is going to be a nail-biter, barring an unbelievable October surprise.

3 Comments:

By Blogger boooj, at Thu Oct 14, 12:31:00 AM:

Jack, Windrem and I thought Bush won this one. We (about five or six people here) thought it was good for a point or two in the polls.  

By Blogger boooj, at Thu Oct 14, 12:33:00 AM:

Jack, Windrem and I thought Bush won this one. We (about five or six people here) thought it was good for a point or two in the polls.  

By Anonymous Anonymous, at Thu Oct 14, 11:03:00 AM:

For the first time, I though Bush won going away and Kerry was weak. I also thought Kerry's gratuitous comment about Cheney's gay daughter was absurd. If Bush does that, the NYT is screaming for his resignation today.  

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