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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Blips and bounces and bears, oh my! (261 comments)

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  •  on debates... (13+ / 0-)
    Still, political scientists caution against overestimating the influence and even democratic utility of debates in general; and they put caveats on the ability of social science to measure their true effects.
    http://journalistsresource.org/...
    Do Presidential Debates Really Matter?

    Remember all the famous moments in past debates that changed the outcome of those elections? Well, they didn’t.

    http://www.washingtonmonthly.com/...

    "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

    by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 04:40:52 AM PDT

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    •  Debates give the media and the base (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tikkun, thomask, Mistral Wind

      something to chew on for a few months.
      I like debates, shows the candidate under a bit of stress, are they answering directly or like a weasel ("Can I call you Joe?"), and shows a visible contrast between the candidates.
       I remember one Obama/McCain debate where they were sitting on stools in a town hall setting, and while Obama looked relaxed and cool, the stool was too tall for McCain and he ended up standing beside it, or stalking back and forth across the stage behind Obama, who was busy answering a question.
      I think that contrast continued throughout those debates.

      “We are not a nation that says ‘don’t ask, don’t tell.’ We are a nation that says ‘out of many, we are one.’” -Barack Obama

      by skohayes on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 05:40:32 AM PDT

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    •  It seems to say they do or can have an effect... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Greg Dworkin

      ....on a tight race, which this is.

      Anyway, I'm curious why they didn't discuss Kerry/Bush which, to me, provided a huge polling shift to Kerry, although obviously he didn't win.

      Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

      by Bush Bites on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:06:56 AM PDT

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    •  From the article. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Greg Dworkin, IM, HudsonValleyMark
      In 1980, the only debate between Carter and Reagan occurred a week before the election. Commentators judged Reagan’s performance favorably: it was “calm and reassuring,” wrote the New York Times’s Hedrick Smith the next day. A plurality of voters (44 percent) judged Reagan to be the victor, while only 26 percent picked Carter. Leading up to the debate, Reagan had about a 2-point lead, based on an average of the polls. He had a 5-point lead in the polls in the field on the day of the debate or in the two days thereafter. The debate seemed to matter, but it mainly nudged Reagan even further toward victory.
      So, why couldn't great debate performances "nudge" obama closer to victory?

      Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

      by Bush Bites on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:09:41 AM PDT

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      •  in a close race everything matters (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HudsonValleyMark, drmah, pademocrat

        but generally in the direction of where it was going anyway.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:19:28 AM PDT

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        •  Except in 2000, according to the article. (2+ / 0-)

          Sorry, don't mean to be difficult here, but if they want to say the results of debates are overhyped or they have about the same effect as many other variables going on at the same time, I'll buy that, but to say they uniformly have no effect is contradicted by the  article itself.

          Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

          by Bush Bites on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:24:56 AM PDT

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        •  Let's be honest (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          drmah

          Are any of us truly concerned that Mitt Romney is going to actually "win" any of the debates with Obama?

          IMO, I think Mitt's best case scenario would be to just come out with a draw, and that I think is very unlikely.

          Obama did fine 4 years ago, and now, as he says, "he's the president". That's a fairly significant "home field advantage".

          Of the many things we need to be concerned about in the next two months, the debates are fairly low on my list.

          Obama will take care of business. He can pummel Romney just by using Clinton's "roadmap" that was laid out in his speech. Romney has nothing, and he's not exactly light on his feet, either.

          "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

          by jkay on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:41:34 AM PDT

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          •  and the VP debate could really demonstrate how (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            jkay, Jake formerly of the LP

            unprepared Ryan would be for being "one heart beat away."  Just like the fear of Palin shifted the vote away from McCain, I think the fear of Ryan could have the same effect to Romney.

            •  Biden.. (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              drmah

              ...will wipe the floor with Ryan. Not only is Ryan a liar, he's still wet behind the ears and not nearly ready for what he's gotten himself into.

              Everybody likes to take shots at Biden, he's not that smart, he's a "gaffe machine", he's this, he's that.

              What the guy is, though, is prepared. He will be ready for that debate, and he will kick Ryan's little weasel ass.

              Not a lot of people took notice of Biden's performance when he debated Palin, because everybody was focused on her.

              Biden destroyed Palin. The republicans were jumping for joy because Palin didn't throw up on her shoes, but Ryan is not going to get a pass like she did.

              "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

              by jkay on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:05:42 AM PDT

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        •  BTW.. (0+ / 0-)

          ...do we have a problem with Chris Murphy here in CT?

          Not with his mortgage BS, but overall? I thought this would be a gimme.

          "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

          by jkay on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:55:17 AM PDT

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          •  who is 'we'? I think he's terrific (0+ / 0-)

            he's been my congressman, and he's been repeatedly on the mark. But CT is not as blue as outsiders think.

            "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

            by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:14:48 AM PDT

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            •  I live in CT (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Greg Dworkin

              Didn't mean there is a problem with him substantively, strictly referring to the polls so far.

              I thought this would be a "kick in" after getting finally getting rid of that gutless toad Lieberman.

              "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

              by jkay on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:22:21 AM PDT

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              •  Linda has more money than God (0+ / 0-)

                and spends it freely. The debates will matter, and I think it'll be  a close win, not a gimmee.

                As for CT voters, well, they elected Lieberman.

                "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

                by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:26:32 AM PDT

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                •  Her tv ads.. (0+ / 0-)

                  ....are a total sham.

                  All they do is portray her as this "nice, friendly, picked herself up from her bootstraps" woman with generic platitudes that she'll fight for you, she understands you, blah, blah, blah.

                  Didn't think people here would fall for that kind of empty bullshit.

                  Just make her answer where she stands point by point on the republican platform and watch her melt away like the wicked witch of the west.

                  "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!"

                  by jkay on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:43:00 AM PDT

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    •  I don't know. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      IM
      This brings us to 2000, which is a clearer case of a small, but consequential, debate effect. Al Gore’s performance in the first debate—with its interruptions of George W. Bush and audible sighs— was widely lampooned and is also considered by some to be one of the “biggest blunders” in the history of presidential debates. After the debate, there was a swing of 2 or 3 points toward Bush, enough to give him a narrow lead. Erikson and Wlezien estimate that after all of the debates, Gore’s poll standing was about 2 points lower than it was before. Among the many factors that influenced the outcome of the 2000 election, the debates appear to have been one.
      First of all, I have trouble with these guys picking one variable out of a bunch of variables and saying "well, this one didn't matter" when it's generally the preponderance of variables that decide elections.

      Second of all, I have trouble with them putting down a flat "debates don't matter" headline, then in the articles saying "well, OK, in this election, they did" (see above).

      Obviously, if they mattered in one election, they could matter in another election.

      Repubs started up the car, hit the throttle and sent it over the cliff, and now they're complaining that the black guy hasn't fixed it fast enough.

      by Bush Bites on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:15:05 AM PDT

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      •  heh (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        IM, drmah

        with 537 votes between them, my uncle Bob's cold on election day mattered.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 06:20:35 AM PDT

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      •  it isn't a "debates don't matter" headline (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Greg Dworkin

        Admittedly the headline doesn't tell the whole story, but basically the subhed reflects what I take to be the main point, which is that most vaunted "game-changers" actually weren't.

        You two covered this well in another branch. I just wanted to put in a good word for WaMo and John Sides (although I don't know whether he had anything to do with the subhed).

        Election protection: there's an app for that!
        Better Know Your Voting System with the Verifier!

        by HudsonValleyMark on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 07:22:42 AM PDT

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      •  My take on it is that in 1980 a lot more people (0+ / 0-)

        tuned in to the debates because of the simple fact that at that time, most people watched whatever came on tv at the 7-10pm block.

         At that time, Hulu, Netflix, cable, Xbox etc didn't exist with the exception of cable and so now the debates are competing with that change in how families spend their evenings.   The hope is that low info viewers will even turn them on.  Of course, the base will view but if we are talking about a change in the race due to people watching these debates....somehow we must get them to tune in.

    •  The reason (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Greg Dworkin

      debates often don't matter alot can be seen if you look at snap polling of who won and who lost:
      In general about 80% of the supporters of each candidate will think their guy won.

      Having said that debates changed to some extent the race  in 2004, 2000 and 1992.

      In fact, given where Perot started when he started when he re-entered the race in '92 (about 8%) and where he finished (19%) I find it hard to believe you can make an argument that they never matter.

      Yes, there is a piece coming in the next week.

      The bitter truth of deep inequality has been disguised by an era of cheap imported goods and the anyone-can-make-it celebrity myth - Polly Toynbee

      by fladem on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 08:41:07 AM PDT

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      •  straw man to claim they never matter (0+ / 0-)

        haven't seen that. They generally don't matter (not the same thing) but they can in a close election.

        Assume they make a 2-3 point difference (a thought experiment). It takes a close race to feel it. But most political scientists make the case that conventions generally matter more (uninterrupted 'your side' coverage). This might be one of those years.

        "Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies." - Groucho Marx

        by Greg Dworkin on Sat Sep 08, 2012 at 09:17:40 AM PDT

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