Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Upcoming Debates

James Fallows wrote in The Atlantic, Slugfest. "This year’s presidential debates could have as decisive an effect on the election outcome as any since 1980, if not 1960. Mitt Romney brings formidable advantages to the contests—but he has one big weakness that President Obama can exploit."

My sense is that much of the election season so far has been a wash. Romney isn't doing well and Obama got a good bump from his convention but its subsiding a little as such things do. Most people and I assume most undecided haven't been paying much attention and some will start in two weeks with the debates and others will wait until election day. Nate Silver still gives Obama a 75% chance of winning, so I'm happy with that.

Fallows says Romney prepares well for debates, but there's also the narrative that Romney prepares well for everything and his campaign has not been showing that lately. My sense of Romney from the primaries is that he was really good at coming in second. He only won because no one else was good at coming in first for more than a couple of weeks. I suspect Obama will do a lot better than any of the former GOP frontrunners. Particularly if he uses Clinton's convention speech as a template.

I have no idea what's going to happen in the Vice Presidential debate. Ryan will probably pull out lots of incorrect facts as he did in his speech and Biden will flub a few things but score some zingers. I suspect that will be more entertaining but less significant.

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