Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Debate Swings

Nate Silver has a good piece up on his site about how debates affect poll results historically. His basic conclusion is that we are unlikely to see the race move substantially in either direction as a result of the debates.

I actually think there is much more potential upside for Obama here than McCain. I think the dynamic of the 1980 race is a somewhat useful analogy for 2008. People were ready for a change then but there were lingering worries about Reagan and his ability to manage a foreign policy crisis. His cool demeanor, etc., made it okay for voters to go with Reagan. I think the same will likely be true of Obama in the debates here. People are ready for a change but have lingering worries about his ability to manage a foreign policy crisis. On Friday, they’ll see a cool, collected, and knowledgeable person and that will allow them to feel more comfortable voting for change.


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