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Do People Watch Presidential Debates?

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Wasn’t there a repeat of “House” on USA?

This seems mildly positive:

Forty percent of uncommitted voters who watched the debate tonight thought Barack Obama was the winner. Twenty-two percent thought John McCain won. Thirty-eight percent saw it as a draw.

Forty-six percent of uncommitted voters said their opinion of Obama got better tonight.

Sixty-eight percent of uncommitted voters think Obama would make the right decisions about the economy. Forty-one percent think McCain would.

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  • Jon H

    “Yes, Ireland, with their robust economy and legendarily low unemployment rates.”
    That would be Ireland, known in recent years as the ‘Celtic Tiger’, with only a small amount of self-promoting hyperbole.
    Or are you thinking of Northern Ireland?

  • PTS

    I thought Obama did well.
    The only real criticism that I had was his acceptance of the “surge as success premise” in his discussion of Iraq.
    I would have liked to see him make two points:
    1) The surge isn’t really a success in terms of its political objective.
    2) Insofar as it was successful, that success was due to the Anbar Awakening and the ethnic cleansing in Baghdad.
    I thought that Obama cleaned McCain’s clock on the financial crisis stuff, held his own on Russia, and was fairly good on Iran.

  • PTS

    I thought Obama did well.
    The only real criticism that I had was his acceptance of the “surge as success premise” in his discussion of Iraq.
    I would have liked to see him make two points:
    1) The surge isn’t really a success in terms of its political objective.
    2) Insofar as it was successful, that success was due to the Anbar Awakening and the ethnic cleansing in Baghdad.
    I thought that Obama cleaned McCain’s clock on the financial crisis stuff, held his own on Russia, and was fairly good on Iran.

  • PTS

    I thought Obama did well.
    The only real criticism that I had was his acceptance of the “surge as success premise” in his discussion of Iraq.
    I would have liked to see him make two points:
    1) The surge isn’t really a success in terms of its political objective.
    2) Insofar as it was successful, that success was due to the Anbar Awakening and the ethnic cleansing in Baghdad.
    I thought that Obama cleaned McCain’s clock on the financial crisis stuff, held his own on Russia, and was fairly good on Iran.

  • PTS: Sounds like you were drunk-viewing the debate. Obama got hammered, and the Anbar Awakening-ethnic cleansing meme is a weak-sick reed on which to hang your antiwar nihilist hat.
    Maybe Obama won’t be so irritated next time when McCain riffs on foreign policy, or at least he might hide it better…

  • PTS: Sounds like you were drunk-viewing the debate. Obama got hammered, and the Anbar Awakening-ethnic cleansing meme is a weak-sick reed on which to hang your antiwar nihilist hat.
    Maybe Obama won’t be so irritated next time when McCain riffs on foreign policy, or at least he might hide it better…

  • PTS: Sounds like you were drunk-viewing the debate. Obama got hammered, and the Anbar Awakening-ethnic cleansing meme is a weak-sick reed on which to hang your antiwar nihilist hat.
    Maybe Obama won’t be so irritated next time when McCain riffs on foreign policy, or at least he might hide it better…

  • PTS

    We believe in nothing, Americaneocon. If you keep saying such stupid shit in public, we will cut off your johnson.
    Where’s my marmot when I need it?

  • PTS

    We believe in nothing, Americaneocon. If you keep saying such stupid shit in public, we will cut off your johnson.
    Where’s my marmot when I need it?

  • PTS

    We believe in nothing, Americaneocon. If you keep saying such stupid shit in public, we will cut off your johnson.
    Where’s my marmot when I need it?

  • purpleOnion

    I do not see how anyone can consider the surge a success when one of the big reasons for the temporary drop in violence is due to paying Sunni insurgents not to kill U.S. soldiers.
    Prince Bandar told Bush that at a cost of roughly $200 billion he could buy the Iraqi soldiers fresh uniforms, give them three months pay, and feed their families. If the administration listened to Bandar the war would have ended in the favor of the U.S., because if the administration had done so it would have shown the Iraqis that a new strong man was in command and that they were better off for it.
    Instead Bremmer fired all fighting age males which meant that the soldiers and their families would live in desperate poverty. Hungry, broke, and invaders to blame for their humiliation and frustration the fired soldiers became the Iraq insurgency.
    These circumstances did not disturb the administration, because the war would have been too short and the contractors that waited in line to capitalize on the war would have been deeply disappointed. There was too little money to be made unless the enemy’s infrastructure was destroyed and Iraqis fought a desperate war against a superior fighting force.
    Yes, Bush and Cheney had an agenda. Reason, logic, legality, morality, understanding of Arab culture, and the lessons of history did not move them. They saw what they wanted to see. The saw what they were manipulated to see. It simply is not the way foreign policy should be managed.
    John McCain and Barack Obama were wrong about the surge or agreed not to repeat the reason for the surge’s “success”.

  • purpleOnion

    I do not see how anyone can consider the surge a success when one of the big reasons for the temporary drop in violence is due to paying Sunni insurgents not to kill U.S. soldiers.
    Prince Bandar told Bush that at a cost of roughly $200 billion he could buy the Iraqi soldiers fresh uniforms, give them three months pay, and feed their families. If the administration listened to Bandar the war would have ended in the favor of the U.S., because if the administration had done so it would have shown the Iraqis that a new strong man was in command and that they were better off for it.
    Instead Bremmer fired all fighting age males which meant that the soldiers and their families would live in desperate poverty. Hungry, broke, and invaders to blame for their humiliation and frustration the fired soldiers became the Iraq insurgency.
    These circumstances did not disturb the administration, because the war would have been too short and the contractors that waited in line to capitalize on the war would have been deeply disappointed. There was too little money to be made unless the enemy’s infrastructure was destroyed and Iraqis fought a desperate war against a superior fighting force.
    Yes, Bush and Cheney had an agenda. Reason, logic, legality, morality, understanding of Arab culture, and the lessons of history did not move them. They saw what they wanted to see. The saw what they were manipulated to see. It simply is not the way foreign policy should be managed.
    John McCain and Barack Obama were wrong about the surge or agreed not to repeat the reason for the surge’s “success”.

  • purpleOnion

    I do not see how anyone can consider the surge a success when one of the big reasons for the temporary drop in violence is due to paying Sunni insurgents not to kill U.S. soldiers.
    Prince Bandar told Bush that at a cost of roughly $200 billion he could buy the Iraqi soldiers fresh uniforms, give them three months pay, and feed their families. If the administration listened to Bandar the war would have ended in the favor of the U.S., because if the administration had done so it would have shown the Iraqis that a new strong man was in command and that they were better off for it.
    Instead Bremmer fired all fighting age males which meant that the soldiers and their families would live in desperate poverty. Hungry, broke, and invaders to blame for their humiliation and frustration the fired soldiers became the Iraq insurgency.
    These circumstances did not disturb the administration, because the war would have been too short and the contractors that waited in line to capitalize on the war would have been deeply disappointed. There was too little money to be made unless the enemy’s infrastructure was destroyed and Iraqis fought a desperate war against a superior fighting force.
    Yes, Bush and Cheney had an agenda. Reason, logic, legality, morality, understanding of Arab culture, and the lessons of history did not move them. They saw what they wanted to see. The saw what they were manipulated to see. It simply is not the way foreign policy should be managed.
    John McCain and Barack Obama were wrong about the surge or agreed not to repeat the reason for the surge’s “success”.

  • I think J Mac is suffering from “electile dysfunction”. Politicians used to be to embarrassed to talk about it, but now there’s help.
    “Are You Suffering From Electile Dysfunction?”

  • I think J Mac is suffering from “electile dysfunction”. Politicians used to be to embarrassed to talk about it, but now there’s help.
    “Are You Suffering From Electile Dysfunction?”

  • I think J Mac is suffering from “electile dysfunction”. Politicians used to be to embarrassed to talk about it, but now there’s help.
    “Are You Suffering From Electile Dysfunction?”

  • Anonymous

    antiwar nihilist hat
    I prefer antiwar nihilist t-shirts and antiwar nihilist bumper stickers. Antiwar nihilist hats always give me hat-head.

  • Anonymous

    antiwar nihilist hat
    I prefer antiwar nihilist t-shirts and antiwar nihilist bumper stickers. Antiwar nihilist hats always give me hat-head.

  • Anonymous

    antiwar nihilist hat
    I prefer antiwar nihilist t-shirts and antiwar nihilist bumper stickers. Antiwar nihilist hats always give me hat-head.

  • DivGuy

    i Was more likeable: Obama 61%, McCain 26%
    John McCain came off like an old jerk who no one wants hectoring them and mocking them in their living room for the next four years. Obama seemed solid, cool, smart, and overall a calming, likable presence.
    If we want to win the post-debate spin, I really think this is the argument.

  • DivGuy

    i Was more likeable: Obama 61%, McCain 26%
    John McCain came off like an old jerk who no one wants hectoring them and mocking them in their living room for the next four years. Obama seemed solid, cool, smart, and overall a calming, likable presence.
    If we want to win the post-debate spin, I really think this is the argument.

  • DivGuy

    i Was more likeable: Obama 61%, McCain 26%
    John McCain came off like an old jerk who no one wants hectoring them and mocking them in their living room for the next four years. Obama seemed solid, cool, smart, and overall a calming, likable presence.
    If we want to win the post-debate spin, I really think this is the argument.

  • Well, I was in despair but now I”m happy and that’s all I care about. But as for Ireland, the celtic tiger, didn’t joining the EU and receiving massive wealth transfers as well as open borders and submitting to complex EU regulations on work and on agricultural produce (as parodied heavily in the Harry Potter books) also have something to do with it. Perhaps he could also have cited our friends the spanish as people who have benfitted from the creation of a *massive new and intrusive governmental overlay*.
    aimai

  • Well, I was in despair but now I”m happy and that’s all I care about. But as for Ireland, the celtic tiger, didn’t joining the EU and receiving massive wealth transfers as well as open borders and submitting to complex EU regulations on work and on agricultural produce (as parodied heavily in the Harry Potter books) also have something to do with it. Perhaps he could also have cited our friends the spanish as people who have benfitted from the creation of a *massive new and intrusive governmental overlay*.
    aimai

  • Well, I was in despair but now I”m happy and that’s all I care about. But as for Ireland, the celtic tiger, didn’t joining the EU and receiving massive wealth transfers as well as open borders and submitting to complex EU regulations on work and on agricultural produce (as parodied heavily in the Harry Potter books) also have something to do with it. Perhaps he could also have cited our friends the spanish as people who have benfitted from the creation of a *massive new and intrusive governmental overlay*.
    aimai

  • Karate Bearfighter

    Wait … the Spanish are our friends?

  • Karate Bearfighter

    Wait … the Spanish are our friends?

  • Karate Bearfighter

    Wait … the Spanish are our friends?

  • Jacob Davies

    Ireland is a lovely place and I’m very glad for their recent economic success.
    However, looking to them for lessons for the US would be rather difficult. For instance, our economy is 80x the size of theirs. Their entire population is 4 million – what’s that, about the same as live in Manhattan?
    What works for a microscopic population with no need to provide for their own defense, and a friendly, helpful, and much larger economic community around them may not work so well for a country of 300 million and the world’s biggest military. Though if McCain is proposing to move to Ireland’s level of military spending perhaps he should say so. Ireland spends 1% of its GDP on defense, the US spends 4%. So, we’d be cutting back to about $150bn a year for defense.
    Anyway, Ireland’s ridiculously low business tax rates are the subject of a certain amount of controversy in the EU, since the larger countries – who actually do need the tax revenue and have much more mature and broad economies than Ireland – don’t particularly like having My Own Tax Haven available within their economic free trade zone.

  • Jacob Davies

    Ireland is a lovely place and I’m very glad for their recent economic success.
    However, looking to them for lessons for the US would be rather difficult. For instance, our economy is 80x the size of theirs. Their entire population is 4 million – what’s that, about the same as live in Manhattan?
    What works for a microscopic population with no need to provide for their own defense, and a friendly, helpful, and much larger economic community around them may not work so well for a country of 300 million and the world’s biggest military. Though if McCain is proposing to move to Ireland’s level of military spending perhaps he should say so. Ireland spends 1% of its GDP on defense, the US spends 4%. So, we’d be cutting back to about $150bn a year for defense.
    Anyway, Ireland’s ridiculously low business tax rates are the subject of a certain amount of controversy in the EU, since the larger countries – who actually do need the tax revenue and have much more mature and broad economies than Ireland – don’t particularly like having My Own Tax Haven available within their economic free trade zone.

  • Jacob Davies

    Ireland is a lovely place and I’m very glad for their recent economic success.
    However, looking to them for lessons for the US would be rather difficult. For instance, our economy is 80x the size of theirs. Their entire population is 4 million – what’s that, about the same as live in Manhattan?
    What works for a microscopic population with no need to provide for their own defense, and a friendly, helpful, and much larger economic community around them may not work so well for a country of 300 million and the world’s biggest military. Though if McCain is proposing to move to Ireland’s level of military spending perhaps he should say so. Ireland spends 1% of its GDP on defense, the US spends 4%. So, we’d be cutting back to about $150bn a year for defense.
    Anyway, Ireland’s ridiculously low business tax rates are the subject of a certain amount of controversy in the EU, since the larger countries – who actually do need the tax revenue and have much more mature and broad economies than Ireland – don’t particularly like having My Own Tax Haven available within their economic free trade zone.

  • Richard Hershberger

    “Twins, Brewers, White Sox and Mets were playing. Yeah, we were watching the debate. Obama won.”
    More importantly, the Phillies were playing. Watch my team in a tight pennant race, or watch a couple of politicians and a television journalist? Easiest decision of my life.
    Oh, and the Phillies won, too.

  • Richard Hershberger

    “Twins, Brewers, White Sox and Mets were playing. Yeah, we were watching the debate. Obama won.”
    More importantly, the Phillies were playing. Watch my team in a tight pennant race, or watch a couple of politicians and a television journalist? Easiest decision of my life.
    Oh, and the Phillies won, too.

  • Richard Hershberger

    “Twins, Brewers, White Sox and Mets were playing. Yeah, we were watching the debate. Obama won.”
    More importantly, the Phillies were playing. Watch my team in a tight pennant race, or watch a couple of politicians and a television journalist? Easiest decision of my life.
    Oh, and the Phillies won, too.

  • FP

    Anyone who hasn’t decided who they’re voting for in this election by now is a low information voter, someone who’s incapable of discerning the instances where McCain was intentionally (or worse, unintentionally) misleading and/or factually inaccurate. With little more than a basic grasp of the complex financial issues at issue and having only a limited understanding or awareness of world events, the swinger is going to look to the candidates’ tone, confidence, and fighter instinct, among other qualities that are assessed on the visceral, rather than intellectual, level.
    In this regard, McCain came in like a charging bull, a scrapper, yet, improbably, showed himself — unfortunately– to be polished, steeped in historical context, and even steady.

  • FP

    Anyone who hasn’t decided who they’re voting for in this election by now is a low information voter, someone who’s incapable of discerning the instances where McCain was intentionally (or worse, unintentionally) misleading and/or factually inaccurate. With little more than a basic grasp of the complex financial issues at issue and having only a limited understanding or awareness of world events, the swinger is going to look to the candidates’ tone, confidence, and fighter instinct, among other qualities that are assessed on the visceral, rather than intellectual, level.
    In this regard, McCain came in like a charging bull, a scrapper, yet, improbably, showed himself — unfortunately– to be polished, steeped in historical context, and even steady.

  • FP

    Anyone who hasn’t decided who they’re voting for in this election by now is a low information voter, someone who’s incapable of discerning the instances where McCain was intentionally (or worse, unintentionally) misleading and/or factually inaccurate. With little more than a basic grasp of the complex financial issues at issue and having only a limited understanding or awareness of world events, the swinger is going to look to the candidates’ tone, confidence, and fighter instinct, among other qualities that are assessed on the visceral, rather than intellectual, level.
    In this regard, McCain came in like a charging bull, a scrapper, yet, improbably, showed himself — unfortunately– to be polished, steeped in historical context, and even steady.

  • FP,
    Sure, that’s true of low information/swing voters. But the polls taken right after the debate show that these know nothings actually didn’t think McCain showed himself to be “polished” or “steady”–at least if that means they liked what they saw. The polls uniformly showed a huge swing towards obama on categories that mccain thought he’d win in a walk: experience, sympathy, competence, presidentialness, blah blah blah. I think its absolutely the case that the more you know about foreign policy, as Ezra put it, the worse McCain looked so I totally wouldn’t blame anyone who didn’t know anything for being impressed by McCain’s litany of “I wuz dere” speeches and “I know him by name” name dropping. But the polls seem to indicate that that kind of braggadocio was boring to know nothing viewers. They didn’t get it and they didn’t like the agressive, hectoring tone. Go figure? The american people,n ot as dumb as we thought.
    aimai

  • FP,
    Sure, that’s true of low information/swing voters. But the polls taken right after the debate show that these know nothings actually didn’t think McCain showed himself to be “polished” or “steady”–at least if that means they liked what they saw. The polls uniformly showed a huge swing towards obama on categories that mccain thought he’d win in a walk: experience, sympathy, competence, presidentialness, blah blah blah. I think its absolutely the case that the more you know about foreign policy, as Ezra put it, the worse McCain looked so I totally wouldn’t blame anyone who didn’t know anything for being impressed by McCain’s litany of “I wuz dere” speeches and “I know him by name” name dropping. But the polls seem to indicate that that kind of braggadocio was boring to know nothing viewers. They didn’t get it and they didn’t like the agressive, hectoring tone. Go figure? The american people,n ot as dumb as we thought.
    aimai

  • FP,
    Sure, that’s true of low information/swing voters. But the polls taken right after the debate show that these know nothings actually didn’t think McCain showed himself to be “polished” or “steady”–at least if that means they liked what they saw. The polls uniformly showed a huge swing towards obama on categories that mccain thought he’d win in a walk: experience, sympathy, competence, presidentialness, blah blah blah. I think its absolutely the case that the more you know about foreign policy, as Ezra put it, the worse McCain looked so I totally wouldn’t blame anyone who didn’t know anything for being impressed by McCain’s litany of “I wuz dere” speeches and “I know him by name” name dropping. But the polls seem to indicate that that kind of braggadocio was boring to know nothing viewers. They didn’t get it and they didn’t like the agressive, hectoring tone. Go figure? The american people,n ot as dumb as we thought.
    aimai

  • DocAmazing

    The american people, not as dumb as we thought.
    Forgive me, aimai, but that remains to be seen.

  • DocAmazing

    The american people, not as dumb as we thought.
    Forgive me, aimai, but that remains to be seen.

  • DocAmazing

    The american people, not as dumb as we thought.
    Forgive me, aimai, but that remains to be seen.

  • AntiquatedTory

    Meanwhile, some conservative but certainly not stupid commenters elsewhere were saying that McCain “wiped the floor” with Obama in the debate they watched and it was just the MSM liberal bias, or possibly they were watching a debate in an alternative universe.
    Mind you, these folks think that takfiri salafism is an existential threat to western civilization, and that Barack Obama is either dishonest or a champion of “hard left” values. In other matters they show they clearly are smart people, so perhaps they do live in a parallel universe?

  • AntiquatedTory

    Meanwhile, some conservative but certainly not stupid commenters elsewhere were saying that McCain “wiped the floor” with Obama in the debate they watched and it was just the MSM liberal bias, or possibly they were watching a debate in an alternative universe.
    Mind you, these folks think that takfiri salafism is an existential threat to western civilization, and that Barack Obama is either dishonest or a champion of “hard left” values. In other matters they show they clearly are smart people, so perhaps they do live in a parallel universe?

  • AntiquatedTory

    Meanwhile, some conservative but certainly not stupid commenters elsewhere were saying that McCain “wiped the floor” with Obama in the debate they watched and it was just the MSM liberal bias, or possibly they were watching a debate in an alternative universe.
    Mind you, these folks think that takfiri salafism is an existential threat to western civilization, and that Barack Obama is either dishonest or a champion of “hard left” values. In other matters they show they clearly are smart people, so perhaps they do live in a parallel universe?

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