I really like the title of this CBS article
: In an effort to manage the message, Democrats bombarded media websites with post-debate spin immediately following Thursday's Bush-Kerry face-off in Florida - and it apppears to have paid off.
In a survey of non-scientific online polls done by ten major media sites, Sen. John Kerry was running about 20 points better than in traditional, scientific polls. Though Kerry was solidly ahead in three traditional polls as well, in the online polls he was a landslide winner.
In an email prior to the debate, Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe urged the party faithful to "vote in online polls" as soon as the debate ended.
The email also urged Democrats to write to local newspapers and call radio talk shows. Major media website addresses were given. Democrats were implored to forward the message to "at least" ten other people.
Republicans, the McAuliffe email read, "stole the post-debate spin" in 2000, and "we are not going to let that happen again."
Post-debate, you guys raised the bar for online activism. By helping to develop talking points, bombarding polls and call-in shows, sending tens of thousands of letters and emails, busting up Republican conference calls, fact-checking and raising gobs of money for the DNC, you helped turn good post-debate spin into thunderous post-debate spin. Further, there can be little doubt that the way you impacted the spin contributed to Kerry's subsequent rise in the national polls. The rise in national polls has changed the media narrative
on the campaign. Headlines about the Bush "lead" have been wiped away by stories of a Kerry surge and a campaign that is once again even. We are writing the narrative now.
Of course, while the Bush lead is now yesterday's news, starting on Tuesday Kerry's debate victory will also be yesterday's news. With two debates this week, we could either fall back to our pre-debate struggles or continue to surge ahead. With only thirty days left in the election, and with voting in most swing states starting in just two weeks, if we fall back this week we might not have a chance to recover.
So, let's get some good sleep tonight, but let's also start formulating our plan for Tuesday. What does Edwards need to do to win the debate against Cheney? I'd like to think that all Edwards really needs to do is stand next to Cheney, and the visual and audio will take care of itself. How could someone with the charm and eloquence of Edwards possibly lose to the cantankerous, gnarled Cheney?
To think that way would be to fall into the same trap Bush laid for himself on Thursday. Be warned: Edwards could very well lose this debate to Cheney. Cheney is working from a deeper grasp of the issues than Bush could ever dream of, and he brings a perceived gravitas to the table that the public still believes Edwards lacks. We can't let that be the narrative on Tuesday night or Wednesday. What does Edwards need to do win? Just as importantly, what do we need to do?