Should we believe a word the instant pundits say on the night?
The general view of the pundits after the first presidential debate last month was that McCain had probably won. He’d made his arguments better and many of the “experts” were ready to pronounce him the instant winner.
That’s not how it played out in the polls and since that first encounter the movement has all been one way – to the young black Senator from Illinois. Almost the same thing happened straight after last week’s debate which, like the first, did nothing to stem the polling tide to Obama.
The above finding, from the latest ABC-Washington Post poll is very interesting – “had viewers got to like the contenders better as a result of the debates?” The result, a big margin to Obama, is why I think he is now heading for a considerable victory on November 4th.
For until the debates there was a relative lack of knowledge about him and the events gave him a platform to reassure voters that he was an “OK sort of guy”. He was reassuring and quietly confident which has gone a long way towards assuaging the lingering doubts.
So what can McCain do in the final session? Can he manage to squash the negatives that have developed during the campaign – partly the product of his VP pick and partly in his aggressive attack ads against his opponent. Neither seem to have resonated with the wider public outside the core GOP base.
It’s hard to see how he can come back from here and I am looking forward to an expected big pay-day on November 5th.