Reactions to the Presidential Debate Trump vs. Biden

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Pollster Frank Luntz did his usual survey of an LA Times panel of swing voters, and, when pushed, most of the 14 disheartened voters said they would vote for Trump. One voter called the 2020 election “a living nightmare”; another called it “trying to choose the best seat in Hell.” The debate was held after many people have already cast their ballot by mail. The Electoral College, not the popular vote, chooses the president. This analysis claims that Biden may have handed the states of Pennsylvania and Texas to Trump with his condemnation of the oil industry. Each candidate’s claims against the other would lead a neutral party to the conclusion that neither man has a real plan to beat Covid-19, or to solve healthcare problems, both men are deeply corrupt, and both actually work for foreign powers rather than for the US.

Well, that was at least a debate. The second and final US Presidential debate –the last time we will ever see Trump in this format, win or lose– actually saw some debating. Of course, “debate” nowadays means repeating rehearsed lines (and lies), but at least this dialectic was not epileptic.

For a neutral viewer taking each man’s claims about the other at face value, one can conclude that neither man has a real plan to beat Covid-19; or to solve healthcare problems; both men are deeply corrupt; and both actually work for foreign powers rather than for the US. There was certainly a lot of “Russia, Russia, Russia” (and the “Poor Boys”, and Abraham Lincoln, at least five “Come on”s, and just the token “Malarkey”). However, perhaps the most substantive differences emerged at the end, where the topic shifted to the environment and a specific Biden pledge to transition away from the oil industry.

What is the electoral impact? Many snap polls on Twitter at the end flagged Trump as the comfortable winner; others said Biden, more narrowly. Of course, TV polls were more partisan, reflecting the different realities with different news we now live in: CNN was Biden 53%, Trump 39%; Fox was Trump 62%, Biden 38%. Perhaps we should be grateful nearly 40% of both audiences are still receptive to other voices? One clutches at straws where one can nowadays.

Nonetheless, very few minds will likely have been changed in what is a base election where many have already voted. Pollster Frank Luntz did his usual survey of an LA Times panel of swing voters and reported that the adjectives they picked for Trump were: ”controlled; reserved; poised; con artist; surprisingly presidential”, while Biden was seen as “vague; unspecific; elusive; defensive; grandfatherly”. All involved also felt more disheartened after the debate than inspired. One voter called the 2020 election “a living nightmare”; another called it “trying to choose the best seat in Hell.”

Less American leaders shouting did not mean more Americans smiling, apparently. However, almost all of that downbeat, depressed panel of 14, when pushed, said they would vote Trump; only one was for Biden; and one was perhaps not going to vote.

The plural of panel is not data, of course, but in a race of very fine margins the closing statement from Biden on the oil industry could perhaps have a key impact in a number of swing states. Recall that this is about the Electoral College and not the overall popular vote. As Newsweek’s Josh Hammer tweeted: “Biden is literally handing Pennsylvania to Trump with those answers on energy.” Texas too, if that is really in play.

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Ron Corbyn
Ron Corbyn
1 month ago

The best plan for Covid is not to have a plan, but to let it run its course. Besides, the PCR test is worthless and a troublemaker.

gem burke
gem burke
1 month ago

I didn’t watch too much of the debate, i don’t feel they tell much generally. I have always tried to look at what was right and what wasn’t and have gone a long way to find out the truth. I have in the past voted ‘against’ someone, never for, but Trump actually seems to be trying to do the right thing which baffles me that so many can be so violently against him. I have only seen some of what they say against him and what I did see were obvious lies or distortions. I’ve tried talking to liberals and… Read more »

bootstrap
bootstrap
1 month ago

Do you know what is especially interesting about the Luntz program wherein Trump beat Biden 12 to 1 (with 1 abstaining)? NOBODY in mainstream media who reported on the Luntz program reported that Trump beat Biden 12 to 1. Think about what that means! Yup. Mainstream media is now 100.000% pure propaganda. Period.

Joseph Burke
Joseph Burke
1 month ago

Why have all the articles about Biden being rumored to be a pedophile suddenly missing from the internet?