Value of Debates??

Tony Stapleton astaple at NWLINK.COM
Mon Oct 7 20:08:15 MDT 1996


This is probably not an original thought, but I was struck with "water
cooler" talk about the debates today.  My "observation" is that:

     The Dole supporters thought that Dole "won," and focused
     upon their perception of the President's shortcomings;

     The Clinton supporters thought that Clinton "son," and
     focused upon their perception of Dole's shortcomings;

     Perot voters, Libertarian, Natural Law party people, etc.
     thought both stunk and touted their candidates'

     The few "undecided" voters were not swayed by either of the

My conclusion:  The debates have no effect, in general, upon the voting
                behavior of those who watch.

My corolary:    The media coverage of the debates effects the
opinions                 of those who do not watch.

     I must say that a Presidential debate has never "changed my mind,"
and that I engage in similar behavior, i.e. I look for the "good" things
about my candidate and "bad" things about the other candidates.

     I guess the proverbial bottom line is, that assuming that my
conclusion (admittedly not backed up by any scientific method) is
correct, why bother with debates?

     Looking forward to hearing from you...

Tony Stapleton
<astaple at>

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