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Question of the Week: Do Presidential Debates Matter?

Do you expect upcoming Presidential and Vice Presidential debates to sway your vote?

The consensus after last week's Presidential debate was that Republican candidate Mitt Romney won the debate with President Barack Obama.

But does that really matter? A recent article in The Washington Post states that analysts differ on the question. Some point to debates with John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, which Kennedy clearly won on style and which may have moved the close election in his favor. Others say a debate win is only a temporary victory. What do you think? 

This week, Vice Presidential candidates Joe Biden and Paul Ryan will take on each other on Thursday at 9 p.m. at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky. Obama and Romney will meet again on Oct. 16 and 22. Will you be watching?

Do Presidential debates sway votes? If so, why? If not, will you still watch?

Sean October 09, 2012 at 11:40 AM
In previous elections, the debates did not result in much change in terms of the polls. This campaign is clearly different. According to the Pew poll: before the debate, Obama had a 51 - 43 lead; now, Romney has a 49 - 45 lead. That's a 12 point swing. On specific issues Obama does well -- for example, connecting with average voters. But on economic issues such as jobs as the budget, Romney pulled ahead after the debate. I suspect a strong debate performance by Romney coupled with Obama's weak performance is part of the cause for the polling change. Another is that a lot of Americans had their first good look at the man: instead of news reports where a shot of Romney is in the background and a talking head reporter is "summarizing" his position, in the debate a number of voters actually heard him without the filters. I wonder if Obama had done better in the debate whether Patch would be asking this same question.
NamaKat October 09, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Maybe not, the TelePrompTer made huge difference, as did lack of coverage from main stream media for gov. Romney !
steve October 09, 2012 at 02:10 PM
Its obvious this debate had a influence but theres a lot of time before election and oboma will do better at next debate and with his political machine behind him they will destort the truth behind their gangster style governing. Oboma is ineffective and incompatant as president and anyone who would vote for him has blinders on.
Chris October 09, 2012 at 06:01 PM
Steve, when speaking of competence, you may want to spell the word right as well as the person's name you are referring to in the comment; not to mention your confusion with its and it's and the awful run-on. Competence is not a subject you should speak on.
Andrew October 11, 2012 at 06:29 PM
Yes, some debates do matter. With the far majority of Main Street media shilling for Obama, the people got a good look at the real Romney and it appears they .like what they see. Thank God as I don't think this country could endure another 4 years of Obama!
Scrumpty a la cart October 12, 2012 at 09:06 PM
Nearly 70 million people watched the first debate between Obama and Romney. Not sure about last nights number yet. Romney wiped the floor with Obama. Biden held his own when he spoke. However his manic mannerisms, demented smiling and constant interruptions showed America what his character really is. He's an idiot.
Polly October 16, 2012 at 07:30 AM
The only things that ole sleazy salesman Romney has to offer is his empty briefcase and his phoney smile, and why anyone would fall for his pitch is beyond me. Even he can't keep it straight because the only thing he does have is a relatively small, totally corrupt, money driven, power grabbing, hate mongering machine backing him, and they know if Obama wins, democracy really does still mean something to most Americans and they can take their Citizens United money and burn it.
steve October 25, 2012 at 05:24 PM
Chris your apparentaly a liberal cause only liberals point out the most minimal of mistakes (such as spelling) to try to make their point of view seem more brighter and superoir to the conservative point of view. Nice try but truth is oboma is just a meaningless as your views.
steve October 25, 2012 at 05:26 PM
And it is oboma be cause he is bombing in the polls.

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