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View Diary: Debates Didn't Matter ≠ Debates Don't Matter (20 comments)

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  •  Maybe I didn't make myself sufficiently clear (0+ / 0-)

    What do you think would have happened if the Republicans had taken the last three debates as well?  Would debates still then "not have mattered"?

    If your intuition matches mine that they would have likely broken through Obama's defenses -- even if (a la 1988) the Dem VP nominee would have done well -- then aren't you implicitly conceding that debates do matter in theory, but just this time they happened not to because Obama recovered?

    You know another argument I had with Poli Sci colleagues back in the '90s?  I said that it was likely that we'd eventually have an Electoral College split with the popular vote -- and they said it would never happen because, well, it hadn't thus far.

    The "debates don't matter" position sounds like that to me, but I presume that it's actually more sophisticated.  I hope so, at least.

    Pro-Occupy Democratic Candidate for California State Senate, District 29 & Occupy OC Civic Liaison.

    "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back." -- Saul Alinsky

    by Seneca Doane on Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 09:32:26 PM PST

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    •  it's based on several things (0+ / 0-)

      Including that a one sided debate schedule result is rarely associated with a tied vote. If one guy is that much better, he/she'd likely be leading anyway.

      Including a comprehensive look at debates and how they affected polls and results (the tool we have)

      Including that hypotheticals vote as often as yard signs (which is to say, never).

      Remember, I agree with your post title, but you should have added Debates "Didn't Matter ≠ Debates Don't Matter  (but they usually don't)"

      "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 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 09:10:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I hate the "yard signs don't vote" aphorism too (0+ / 0-)

        TV ads, radio ads, print ads, slate mailers, other mailers, phone calls, t-shirts, robocalls, endorsements, and interviews also "don't vote."  They are all either forms of or content for advertising.  Specific GOTV, like driving people to the polls and calling those who haven't yet voted, do "vote" -- but they come after most of the advertising that helps to lay out the territory for the fight.

        (As you can tell, I am just filled with hatred.)

        Back on point: I can easily see how the sort of thing you suggest wouldn't likely happen could have happened this year.  Romney could have won the last two debates -- Obama just rose to the occasion.

        But OK, I will satisfy myself with our degree of agreement.

        Plaintiffs' Employment Law Attorney (harassment, discrimination, retaliation, whistleblowing, wage & hour, &c.) in North Orange County, CA.

        "I love this goddamn country, and we're going to take it back."
        -- Saul Alinsky

        by Seneca Doane on Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:00:27 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  and I with your degree of consistency ;-0 (0+ / 0-)

          "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 Mon Nov 12, 2012 at 12:50:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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