Do debates matter? According to Gallup, Romney has seen a 5 percentage point bump since the debate last week. On the other hand, there are political scientists who believe
that the only thing (or almost the only thing that matters) is the economy. Kevin Hassett and I have an article
on the real impact that media bias has on people's perceptions (see also here
). I don't find it any less plausible that campaigns can shape the information that people receive and that impacts their views. The alternative is to believe that virtually all campaign spending is a waste of money. That candidates are irrationally wasting their time campaigning.
Well, we surely we will have to wait until all 4 debates are finished, but Gallup has an eight paragraph discussion on the size of Romney's debate win and its implications
. (Gallup's misleading discussion on the unemployment numbers on Friday is disappointing.)
My own guess is that Obama did so poorly because Romney did so well. That Romney came across so strongly unnerved Obama and made him realize that the attacks that he was planning weren't going to work well. Given that, Obama was at a loss about what to say. In response, Biden is taking an incredible 6 days off the campaign trail to prepare for his debate with Ryan
. It is incredible when you think that he had only a week between the two debates.
Labels: Obama2012, poll