Nineteen percent of likely voters said the debate could affect their vote, whereas 79% said it was not likely to. One good sign for Kerry: 63% of those who said the debate could change their mind now support Bush, and 27% back the Democrat.
On Paula Zahn’s show last night, their internet poll showed something similar with 1 in 4 stating the debates could affect their vote.
So with 75-80% of the voters apparently dead-set on their choice, is the 20-25% of still-wavering voters meaningful? Given how close this election appears to be, I would say “yes.”
Yet, for those who wish to only focus on those polls showing Bush with a big lead (despite those polls suffering from methodology flaws, as discussed here and elsewhere), I submit the following interesting chart:
Donald Luskin points out that based on futures contracts (again, which I’ve discussed here many times before), Bush could go the way of – of all people – Gore. Luskin states:
What happened to Gore in early October, 2000, that sent him careening from the heights of near-certain election into the depths of political oblivion? Simple: it was the first debate. If you don't remember his bizarre performance -- all the sighing and eye-rolling and interrupting -- then perhaps you remember the Saturday Night Live version of it. Yep -- it seems like such a little thing, almost a matter of style over substance -- yet it did him in.
The point is that the same thing could happen to Bush. It ain't over till it's over.
We can only hope.
However, a big problem for Kerry is the country has grown so accustomed to the flubberings and embarrassing gaffes of our leader that GW will be allowed much more leeway to be a fool than Kerry will be granted. The country treats Bush like an inept 15-year old going up against a very competent adult; they all but feel sorry for him and therefore hold minimal expectations for him to win. Like it was for Gore, the bar is set much higher for Kerry, and whether this is fair or not is of no consequence. At least 50% of this country is comprised of dopes who make this absurd standard a sad reality.