Why Barack Obama Will Lose the 2012 Presidential Debates


By: inoljt, http://mypolitikal.com/

The presidential debates are a storied tradition in America’s presidential elections. They tend to be more serious than the often superficial primary debates (which have escalated to a new low in this year’s Republican primary). The last presidential election featured Barack Obama debating John McCain. There were none of the game-changing fireworks that occurred in previous debates, and indeed the vice presidential debate caught more interest. Nevertheless, the general consensus was that Obama won. He did this not by landing a devastating blow on McCain, but merely by appearing more presidential and dignified.

Obama will probably not win the 2012 presidential debates. There are several reasons why this will happen. These reasons are neither complex nor convoluted; they’re just restating some common-sense principles.

Reason #1: The Republican candidates have much more practice debating than Obama does. Obama’s last debate occurred more than three years ago, during the fall of 2008. On the other hand, the Republican candidates have been debating for months now, often with one debate every week. That’s a lot of practice for the fall 2012 debates, and they’ve gotten pretty good. Much has been made about how Mitt Romney is now quite a skilled debater after the grueling schedule he’s just gone through. Newt Gingrich is no slouch either; his campaign revival is almost singlehandedly due to strong debate performances.

Reason #2: Obama is not a great debater. This is something that tends to be forgotten, but Obama struggled repeatedly in his debates against Hillary Clinton. Clinton’s strong performances were responsible for her summer lead in 2007 against Obama, and they helped her win Ohio and Texas when her campaign desperately needed to. Many undecided voters watched Clinton and Obama debate before crucial primaries; Obama’s consistent weaker performances probably cost him a lot of strength with those voters.

All this is not to say that Obama will actually lose the presidential election itself. John Kerry, after all, did much better than George W. Bush in 2004; he still lost. Walter Mondale’s strong debate performances against Ronald Reagan gave him absolutely no help. Debate winners do not necessarily become presidents.

But mark this prediction for the calendar: Obama will lose the 2012 presidential debates.



Blue Dog Capitulation & The Electoral Weakness Bargaining Chip

Nate Silver has a diary up in which he follows conventional wisdom to come up with the unremarkable conclusion that it will be the progressives who will have to compromise. I dispute his claim because of the relative bargaining positions of the progressives and Blue Dogs on healthcare reform.

Nate's reasoning for concluding that the progressives will have to compromise?

"As the Energy and Commerce Committee happens to be quite representative of the House as a whole, this vote is useful in forecasting the bill's overall prospects. Specifically, as it did in the committee, the compromise appears to be favored to win the support of the full House, although probably by a very narrow margin."

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2009/08/h ealth-care-bill-has-little-margin-for.ht ml#comments

I think Nate is a major political thinker, but I dispute his logic here. His reliance on models is off the mark because it relies on models, not bargaining positions. A little secret of bargaining is that often one can have the weaker hand, and out bargain one's opponent. In Texax Hold'em, it is called the bluff. Here, that's the chief issue- do the progressives realize they have the stronger hand? Or, that contra-DC bubble wisdom, the Blue Dogs almost certainly are bluffing?

There's more...

Scholastic Kid's Poll Results

What is interesting about the Scholastic Kid's poll , is that it is rarely wrong. The base methodology for this poll is to take submitted votes from either the Scholastic Kids News Magazine, that are in turn submitted through the schools to final tally - or through the registered votes from the Scholastic website and/or a similiar registered mechanism from twitter.com/scholasticnews. They take , in general, about two weeks to compile the results. In the past six election cycles it has correctly predicted the winner of the election.

Here are their results as/of 10/14/08:

Sen. Barack Obama, 57%
Sen. John McCain,  39%
Undecided,          4%

Of course, this doesn't take into account McCains soon-to-be stunning debate performance where I am told that he will attempt to tie Sen. Obama to William Ayers.  McCain's brilliant campaign that somehow seems to avoid discussing real issues, or even, for that matter - their own candidate to be able to look into the camera - may have the effect of making Sen. Obama's margin of victory even higher.

So. What do you think? Is this accurate?

There's more...

IND for Clinton 54-46, NC for Obama 52-48

Prediction based on last RCP poll average and the recent trend of undecideds going about 3-1 Clinton.


Clinton 49(RCP average) + 5(share of undecided) = 54
Obama 44 (RCP average) + 2 (share of undecided) = 46


Clinton 42(RCP average) + 6(share of undecided) = 48
Obama 50 (RCP average) + 2 (share of undecided) = 52


There's more...

This Spreadsheet Continues To Impress

The spreadsheet that was "accidentally" sent out on February 7th by the Obama campaign continues to illustrate the scenario underway.  My previous entry on this spreadsheet can be found below;

http://www.mydd.com/story/2008/3/5/20392 3/2712#readmore

Read over the post and the spreadsheet.

There's more...


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