Saturday, September 27, 2008

Some Polling on the First Debate

Nate Silver breaks down some of the internals of the polling numbers on the debate. In sum, it seems it was a slightly better night for Barack Obama than it seemed to me when I watched it. He seems to have convinced some skeptical people that he’s ready to serve as Commander-in-Chief and he clearly (according to this limited polling data) connected with the economic concerns of the middle class better than McCain did. One of the interesting points that I’m ashamed to say didn’t strike me as important at the time was the discussion of the corporate tax. McCain, as you recall, made a big deal out of how corporate taxes are too high. Silver argues … who cares??? It may be sound economic policy to have lower corporate taxes and it might even help the little guy indirectly. But middle-class voters understand Obama’s argument about reducing personal income taxes for 95% of working Americans much more clearly and making the reduction of corporate taxes your big idea right at the moment when Peoria believes Wall Street is about to rip us all off with this bailout plan is kinda silly.

I’m feeling a little more optimistic several hours later than I was when the debate first ended. I thought then that the debate was about a wash. Now, I think Obama may have even strengthened his hand a little bit.

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