The Dernogalizer

October 4, 2008

Biden/Palin Debate

Filed under: National Politics — Matt Dernoga @ 1:22 am
Tags: , , , ,

So I tuned into the VP debate Thursday night, and it went pretty much how I expected it to go. I expected that Palin would do better than the uber low expectations people had for her, and that people would make too much out of that. I hoped that Biden would not be too overbearing towards Palin and instead go after McCain. He did that.

Let me be clear, from a standpoint of substance, Biden won. He answered questions in depth and with expertise. Palin either dodged questions or answered them very broadly without specifics.

But your average American sitting down to tune into the debate hasn’t researched all of the positions of all of the candidates. They aren’t knowledgeable of the specifics. Far too many people identify with likability than a grasp of the issues. That’s how we ended up with George Bush. At least Palin is at the bottom of the ticket. My estimate is that this debate will have a similar effect that the Obama/McCain debate had. Your independent undecided voter is uncertain about Obama because of their perception of his inexperience. They are holding back because they aren’t sure whether or not Obama can be presidential, and in the Obama/McCain debate, Obama proved that he could when he went toe to toe with McCain. Some undecideds identified this, and it reflected in the polls, my estimate it boosted Obama by 3-4 points, and the economic crisis gave him another 4. These same undecideds were looking to see if Palin could fill the shoes of the presidency if necessary. In the eyes of the average independent undecided American, she proved she could. I think they are wrong, but I’m a Democrat, I live in MD, and I’m voting for Obama. Too many people don’t look at politics objectively when they’re analyzing something, I’m trying to do that.

So I expect Palin’s debate performance will negate Obama’s. I think McCain will jump 3-4 points in the national polls by next Tuesday. Ultimately though, unless there is a serious misstep by Obama, I think the economic crisis sealed the race for him. There are just too many landmines in the Electoral College for McCain to get the necessary votes to win, and not enough time to clear them all.

New Hampshire polls are showing Obama with double digit leads where McCain just led a couple weeks ago. The same with Michigan where it’s gone from a dead heat to Obama with a double digit lead, causing McCain to pull out his operations in Michigan and focus elsewhere. Obama is leading in places he shouldn’t and wasn’t expected to like Florida and North Carolina. And in the once pure toss-ups of Virginia, Ohio, Colorado, Nevada, Pennsylvannia, and Minnesota, Obama has assumed leads ranging from 2-7 points. It’s worth nothing with many of these states, the polls survey “likely voters” which leaves out the vast majority of the new registered voters that the Obama campaign has worked fervently to register. I’d guess that most polls underscore Obama’s performance by 1-2 points.

So still a month to go, and stranger things have happened. This election has shifted all over the place suddenly an unexpectedly. But right now, unless there is a game-changer, the race is Obama’s to lose.

Oh, and my final take on the debate, and something I think and hope people will consider on voting day. McCain selected Palin because she would make him a better candidate. Obama picked Biden because he would make him a better president.



  1. Thank you. Good post.

    But I have not yet heard anyone from any side express any concern about the most dangerous possibility if Governor Palin is elected to national office.

    Comment by Burr Deming — October 4, 2008 @ 1:28 am | Reply

  2. Interesting Burr, I like your take on it.

    Comment by Matt Dernoga — October 4, 2008 @ 1:54 am | Reply

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