My reaction to the post-debate polls is a big fat jigga-wha? I watched the final face-off with a bunch of D.C. friends, many of them ex-debaters, many of them quite liberal. Everyone thought Bush won decisively. But the polls are showing that people thought Kerry won, and the margin in some of these polls is as big as it was for the Coral Gables debate (when, similarly, we all agreed that Kerry had won brutally). So, err, what’s going on here? Given that I favor Kerry (or at any rate, loathe Bush enough to make a Kerry White House an acceptable price of ousting him) I’m not exactly upset by this perception. But it really is perplexing—it seemed pretty clear to all of us, and we’re hardly a group under the influence of pro-Bush bias. Aside from his weak, weak closing, why did people conclude so strongly that Bush lost this one? Could it be that my group’s expectations for Bush were just so low that a competent performance seemed much better than it really was? I guess I’ll have to take a second look, but in the meantime: If you thought Kerry won, why?
October 14th, 2004 · No Comments