Wednesday, October 3, 2012
The Coming Debate
Presidential debates usually don't make a difference, except perhaps in a VERY tight election like 1960 or 1976. Chait hits upon the main problems that R-Money specifically faces here.
But the thing about debates is that these are not high school debate competitions where the winners and losers are based on some points system. These are won or lost on Saturday Night Live and by the media. "I can see Russia from my house!" effectively stripped away the novelty from Sarah Palin and exposed her for the intellectual lightweight she is, much more effectively than the Katie Couric interview.
Mitt Romney is a dick. We have well established this fact. If Romney's innate dickishness comes out for a spin tonight, it will be interesting to see how that plays in the press. While Obama is probably better liked both personally and ideologically by the press corps, they NEED a horse race. And that's slipping away from them.
Recently the residents of La-La Land have proposed that the news media are "skewing" the polls. This is, well, bullshit. But the polls have seen a meager tightening the past week. Is this because of the inevitable tightening that we see at this stage of most races? Or did they adjust their samples in response to the Wurlitzer raving about skewing? I have no idea.
But if Obama has a five point lead nationally and a seven point lead in the swing states, there is nothing to write about. It's too early to write the official obituaries of the Romney campaign, so what would you write about?
Conservative mau-mauing of the media has led to a reflexive crouch among many journalists. But they also hate Mitt Romney, the way most people come to hate him. And they need a horse race.
What will be interesting to me is if the media push a Romney victory to try and tighten the race, but everyone else sees Dick Romney, Scion of the One Percent.