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Does McCain need a knockout?

  • Oct. 7th, 2008 at 5:49 PM
Leonard Doyle writes on The Independent's blog:

McCain needs a knock-out performance at the town-hall-style presidential debate tonight if he is to keep his hopes alive. 

Polls show Obama leading 52-44, his highest level ever. The election has now been transformed by the the financial crisis which has shot Obama into the lead both nationally and in key states. It has taken a near global financial meltdown for the political climate to come good for Obama and the economic meltdown leaves McCain with very little room to maneuvere in the final 28 days of the race. Read more.

Quick question ahead of tonight's debate: Is the debate crucial? And is McCain really falling off the pace that badly?

Edit: If you had been John McCain last night you are likely to have been seized by the desire to walk over and slap Barack Obama.


( Comment )
brennakimi wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
If the candidates actually say anything tonight, yes, the debate will be important. But undecided voters, if there really is such a thing, will not be swayed by buzzwords. Those only work to reinforce decisions that have already been made.

But, good luck hearing anything but buzzwords in a televised debate.
credendovides wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 07:46 pm (UTC)
I need to find some debate bingo cards.
(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 7th, 2008 07:53 pm (UTC) Expand
(no subject) - credendovides - Oct. 7th, 2008 08:15 pm (UTC) Expand
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iber wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
I don't know if the debate is crucial for the most point. Personally, I'll watch the debate because my choice of major compels me to do so. I don't think many people really want to watch an Obama/McCain debate, especially after their last very boring debate. I wish America didn't have such a crappy debate format...

I'm not sure on McCain falling behind. I mean, I'm liberal, and I want the lesser of two evils here with Obama, but there's a lot of other things go on. Based on the models for this election, many analysts considered this to be a sure Democrat win for the presidency. The Democrats did chose a weaker opponent, and the Republicans chose one of the strongest potential candidates who could have a chance at winning in such a model. I don't want to say that he's falling that badly but I think things are stacked against him... and unless the polls switch to rather large divide between the candidates, I wouldn't count McCain, or the ingenuity of the Republicans out yet.
mamculuna wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 07:06 pm (UTC)
I know that Palin has done some irreparable harm among independents who are really afraid that she could wind up as President, with her hand on the nuclear codes.

Also, the polls are too general. What counts is the electoral college tally. McCain has abandoned Michigan and is set to lose NC, and I haven't heard that he's picked up any of the states that Kerry won in 2004. He needs to take every state that Bush took and it appears that he will not do that.

Edited at 2008-10-07 07:09 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 7th, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC) Expand
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tiny_josser wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 06:33 pm (UTC)
Re: Palin is the Whore upon the Scarlet-Pink Elephant Beast!
Many of us are upset and scared over Palin's mind boggling comments. Deep breaths. Finger off the cap lock.
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grace_om wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 05:30 pm (UTC)
If Obama stands there "looking presidential" and calmly and authoritatively talks policy -- particularly plans for helping the failing economy -- he's going to do well. He's totally capable of this, and I expect nothing less.

McCain is a wild card. He's been hinting that he's going to go after Obama's character with gloves off and teeth bared. Personally, I think that would be a mistake on his part. If he has nothing of substance to say, and continues presenting himself as an angry old man who hates the media and all liberals, and anyone who dares to disagree with him or criticize his choice of running mate... Not likely to do much for his campaign. OTOH, if he can come up with substance...might regain him some support.
tyskkvinna wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 05:33 pm (UTC)
I would also not be too quick to declare this election for Obama yet - I don't believe polls. (I might change my mind if I'm ever actually part of one, but as of today I have not been.) I know many people's opinions are fickle.. so yes, maybe the debate tonight is critical. I don't know. I'm not expecting any "knock outs", but perhaps I'll be surprised.
heavenly_action wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 05:49 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I am one of those people that felt like Obama needed to be more aggressive. You know, show some fired up passion. But for this debate, I think he should not change a thing and stay cool even if McCain takes the gloves off as he is promising to do. I think McCain is losing votes fast by the negative ads attacks on Obama. Let McCain blow up and smoke, and that will be all she wrote.
jeffxandra wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 06:31 pm (UTC)
The debate is crucial to John McCain, absolutely. His campaign in the past couple weeks has been incredibly erratic and scattershot. The problem is the anger he feels can't come to the surface. He can't appear unstable and angry on the stage the way he did in some of the Republican primary debates. But he still needs to be able to hit Obama hard and frequently. However so far all of the allegations he's made have significant counterpunches. Ayers - G. Gordon Liddy/Todd Palin & the AIP, Wright - Palin's pastor, Campaign donations - McCain's own breaking of FEC rules

As to Obama - As long as he remains calm, confident, and doesn't wander too far into detailed lists of his policies (like Al Gore did) he should be fine.

But it is an unmoderated Town Hall debate, so who knows what could happen?

Is McCain falling off the pace that badly? Probably not "that badly", but he is falling and it is bad. The longer it goes the more those numbers solidify.
pennyann wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 06:43 pm (UTC)
I think the polls can be tricky... they can be wrong. But I'm not surprised that Obama has the lead currently.

Is the debate crucial? I'm not sure. I would say that in this community it seems that minds are made up. The debate will only strengthen those already-made decisions in the direction they are determined to vote. If there were people (or more people) who were obviously undecided in this community you would likely find a more reflective answer to this... but I think that most of the people in this community, and most of the people out there in the country have more or less already made their choice and whatever happens between now and then is simply support of that decision or ammunition against the party they have not chosen.

That said, I think it can become important (if not crucial) if the facts of their policies are better explained. What do they intend to do (beyond the talking points), especially about the economy? What specific things do they think will fix these problems we are facing. I know that makes for a more "boring debate" for most, but to me it is kind of akin to being in school: Class may be boring, but if you're learning what you need to learn, then that is more important than excitement. Of course, a good teacher will help you learn and keep it exciting both... but rarely are politicians good teachers.
credendovides wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 07:52 pm (UTC)
I wonder if undecided voters are afraid to post here. There are some very rabid posters on both sides of the fence, and I can see someone announcing they are undecided as being chum in the water.
pennyann wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 07:10 pm (UTC)
I also wanted to add that it will be interesting to see how McCain's beloved "Town Hall" format plays out for him. This would be the second debate in a row that is geared to his supposed "strong suits"... the first one on foreign policy which was supposed to be his strongest subject matter, and now this format which is supposed to be his strongest showing.

Will he capitalize any better than he did during the first debate that was supposed to favor him?

[Edited to say: When I say it was "supposed to favor him", I do not mean that it was intended to favor him, I mean that it had been supposed, or "predicted" (to use a synonym for what I mean here) that he would do well because foreign policy is his "strong suit". Symantics... *sigh* ]

Edited at 2008-10-07 07:14 pm (UTC)
uspresidents wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 07:19 pm (UTC)
I think tonight's debate will only be "crucial" if one or the other candidate does something monumentally stupid to knock himself out of contention. Beyond that (for which the chance is incredibly slim), I don't think the debate will sway too many votes.

I'm surprised to see the poll numbers you quote; that's a very big gap. And I don't think it's entirely accurate. As much as everyone talking about the election and voting has been speaking in high-minded, lofty, enlightened terms, I still expect a large percentage of people, when they're in the voting booth, will exhibit some degree of racism, which will make the election much closer than an eight-point spread. As much as we can say "it's time for a change" or "we don't care what they look like", there's a degree of "different" floating around that will make itself felt in the results.
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Oct. 7th, 2008 07:25 pm (UTC) Expand
credendovides wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 07:57 pm (UTC)
Well... McCain will get all mavericky on the economy, and Obama will bring change to the economy. Question answered! Now that's a little unfair because they both claim change, which is a little disturbing. Change implies you hand over some large amount of money, and you get some smaller insignificant amount of money back. I want the candidate of interest so we will get MORE money back.
(no subject) - brennakimi - Oct. 7th, 2008 08:37 pm (UTC) Expand
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fancieflights wrote:
Oct. 7th, 2008 07:58 pm (UTC)
I pretty much agree with what everyone has said so far. For the decided voters, this debate won't be too much of a big deal, unless one of them does or says something supremely stupid of course. If they actually do say anything solid, instead of repeating the phrases we've been hearing for the past few months, I expect some undecided voters could be swayed.

Over all? I'm not rushing home from class to catch it.
randy_68 wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 12:04 am (UTC)
Being a moderate, both camps scare me in different ways.

The old warhorse for being on the wrong side of immigration, the wrong side of a bunch of social issues, and too late on others. The only thing I hope for if he's elected is that he follows the original fiscal conservative values of the GOP (lower taxes, less spending, and reduce government.) Note: I said the original fiscal tenets of the GOP, not what they've done currently.

As for the empty suit from Chicago. If he gets into office, I hope he doesn't follow through on the tax hikes he's talked about (windfall profits, corporate, high income earner, etc.) Because even though it sounds good to tax the income makers and corporations, it actually does more harm to the economy than good. Also, the saying (paraphrased), "Depth of friendship does not depend on length of acquaintance." The people in someones past always form an impression on the person, and Obama has made acquaintance with some not so good peoples. I fear those have tilted his view of the world in a poor manner.


McCain needs to point out the involvement of Obama and Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, his poor judgement in associations, and the effects of Obama's stated taxes he'd like to implement.

Obama needs to reassure the people he is ready, the relationships to Ayers, White, Fannie & Freddie, and Rezko are inconsequential, and that he can deal with the economic mess without any more strain to Americans.
kittom wrote:
Oct. 8th, 2008 02:09 pm (UTC)
knock out
The republican party had a winner, but the democratic party chose a canidate that seems to be squeeky clean and is highly protected by many powerful insiders. At this stage in the game, the media and their influence has cast too much dought on the McCain ticket, the Mccain ticket has done really nothing to change or counter-punch that, thus, when polls begin to turn 5 to 8 points in the opponents favor, it becones more than a one electoral vote Presidency as once predicted. Obama can say and just about do what ever he wants to do and McCain is now seen as the weaker guy and will loose this election. It really doesn't matter what the polls say or the blogs, or the American voter at the polling booth on NOV 4. The fact remains, as it is seen and expressed, the current shift in the Electoral Vote has al ready picked the President..and that will not change.. BHO is the next president...
( Comment )