July 10, 2012
Can Debates Swing the Election?
The voters seem evenly divided today, and there are only a few things which can move public sentiment prior to November. The economy is already bad, but if it gets worse -- and is perceived as getting worse -- that could shift votes. Obama could plan an "October surprise" in the international arena, as Donald Trump has suggested, but the very modest blip after the death of Osama bin Laden and the war-weariness of Americans make that a dubious ploy which could easily fail. Romney's choice of a running mate will likely give him a brief blip in support as well, but it looks today as if there is nothing to really change voters much before November...except for the presidential debates. Conventional wisdom is that the presidential debates are not that important, but that is not necessarily true. Nixon in 1960 lost the election because of poor makeup in his debates with JFK. Ford may well have lost in 1976 by stating that Poland was not under Soviet...(Read Full Article)