Post-Debate Predictions

by John Sides on October 3, 2012 · 10 comments

in Campaigns and elections

I said this on Twitter so I’ll say it here.

1) Post-debate polls show a pretty even split as to which candidate won.

2) The media generally call it for Romney.

3) Obama’s lead in the polls narrows slightly—I’ll say by about 1 point.

{ 10 comments }

Nadia Hassan October 3, 2012 at 11:45 pm

Well both insta-polls showed Romney winning by sizable and substantial margins!

blah October 3, 2012 at 11:51 pm

Instapolls are like drinking pond water – they seem right at the time but often prove mistaken over the long run. Structurally, this debate changes nothing.

LFC October 4, 2012 at 12:25 am

I give this debate pretty high marks for serious policy discussion and for the fact that the candidates were able to address each other, to some extent, directly — due to the format. I thought Lehrer as moderator began rather shakily but got firmer as the debate progressed. On substance, an edge for Obama (yes I am biased). On forensic skill and agility, hammering on certain points repeatedly, etc., edge to Romney.

structurally this debate changes nothing
probably, but it does prove that occasionally candidates can have a reasonably serious, articulate discussion of issues. That doesn’t happen all that often in U.S. pres. election campaigns, not even in debates a lot of the time. But these are two smart, articulate people — Romney much more articulate than McCain, for ex., who in the 2008 debates had trouble stringing together coherent sentences much of the time, iirc.

LFC October 4, 2012 at 12:32 am

p.s. I didn’t watch the Republican primary debates, just heard little snips, so I was surprised at how well Romney did just from the standpoint of scoring debating points. I know I shouldn’t have been surprised b.c he had been widely declared a good debater, but I was. Obama had some effective moments but also missed some openings.

The fact-checkers are going to have a field day w the transcript, that’s for sure.

Abby Kraus October 4, 2012 at 12:52 am

I do think that Obama could have done better at the debate tonight. Romney did seem like he knew what he was doing and the media will definitely see that and will make it known that they thought Romney was the better candidate tonight. I don’t know how much this debate hurt Obama but he definitely made the distance between him and Romney in polling numbers much smaller than it was before. He was definitely not as prepared as he should have been. Then again he does have a lot going on right now and maybe he just wasn’t ready for this. Romney clearly seemed like the better candidate tonight but that was just one debate who knows what will happen at the next one with the VP candidates or the next Presidential Debate. We still have 33 days left this was just one debate.

Will October 4, 2012 at 1:02 am

Lots of movement on Intrade…

Joseph Cera October 4, 2012 at 2:57 am

Just did some individual-level analysis of changes in vote intention around past debates with similar outcomes.

My conclusion is that vote support changes when there is the perception that one candidate is the clear winner, but that the change is concentrated among “undecideds”. Since there are so few undecided voters this cycle, I concur with John Sides that the net impact will be small.

You can read the full analysis here.

CarmanK October 4, 2012 at 6:32 am

We know for sure, one way, Romney will balance his deficit budget is to fire BIG BIRD. There is a video up on Youtube that is really poignant and fun. Take a look. I felt a lot better after I heard it. Also, understand the strategy was not to offend and some analysis in the numbers was that women preferred that Obama keep his cool, while Romney turned into the bully. It was universal that Leher blew it.

LFC October 4, 2012 at 11:04 am

Obvs. you didn’t bother to read my comment on Lehrer above, or you cdn’t have written “it was universal that Lehrer blew it.”

Jack October 4, 2012 at 1:55 pm

What I find interesting is if these polls are even accurate? Who are they polling and what organization is polling these people. Overall, I believe Romney won, this debate helped romney and excited his base on such a critical debate for Romeny camp.

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