The debate--were any minds changed?

I’m looking for comments by previously undecided posters or posters who though the opposing candidate “won”.

It seems as if in all of the post-debate commentary, the DEMS said that Obama did GREAT! He made McCain look like a doddering old fool who actually soiled himself on stage.

To hear from the GOP, McCain looked like George Washington himself, leading the troops, while Obama looked like an 8 year old kid asking permission to go outside and play with his wagon.

Were any minds changed, or did anyone here think that their preferred candidate lost?

I’ve seen plenty of Dems (including myself) who walked away thinking Obama lost, albeit mildly. There’s multiple examples in the current 11 page thread on the debate here in GD. Actually for all the talk of how people are mindless partisan robots, its rather interesting how many Dems I’ve seen think Obama did worse then what the polls of independents and general voters seem to say (where the majority of people seem to think he’s won).

Reasons? I think there are a good number of people who still question whether or not Obama is ready for the Presidency, especially in foreign affairs. For those people, simply by holding his own and appearing like he was more or less in his element, Obama was able to lessen their reservations about him and he came off looking well. For more committed Dems, this wasn’t a factor, and they were more interested in comparing him directly to McCain rather then to their own previous impressions of him.

i don’t think, unless one candidate does terrible, that debates change many minds.

McCain’s performance reassured me that his win wouldn’t be the worst thing ever. While I don’t agree with him, he didn’t appear doddering or senile or in over his head, as he has recently. He did appear to be an asshole, and I don’t agree with any of the things he said, but I think he can be President without becoming a puppet of special interests or being micromanaged by possibly demonic advisers, and he wouldn’t be an absolute laughingstock like our current one. So that’s good.

But since he keeps lying about what other people do and say, still apparently prefers military action to sitting down to understand what people actually want, and wants to tax me more and corporations and rich people less and doesn’t grok how much my health care costs me out of pocket if he thinks $5000 is going to cover a year’s worth and then wants to tax what I do spend, and he thinks a total spending freeze of Federal funds is a good idea… (minus military and veteran’s benefits, of course, but what about Medicaid and education and highways and…)*

No, not going to vote for him. But I might not commit seppuku if he does win.

*Note: this are all my impressions based solely on the debate, not anything he might have said/written elsewhere.

This is an interesting point. I’ve always thought there was a small, but potentially significant, independent swing vote segment that is inclined to vote for gridlock. Maybe 0.5% of the electorate? 1%? Not sure. But I think it’s there. It tends to be over-represented in my own personal echo-chamber of close associates.

A few of those people were leaning Obama after the recent Palin escapades and McCain’s confusing zip-back-to-D.C. last week.

Haven’t checked in with them yet, but the bar for this segment may be as low as ‘Don’t look terrible on T.V. and damage my confidence further, John and Sarah, and we’re good to go.’ Granted, there are lots of other voting segments that may be larger and moving in other directions for other reasons.

This quick and dirty poll from CBS shows good things for Obama. But like I said in the other thead, I don’t trust quick and dirty polls. I think we’ll get a better idea if either candidate turned any heads by Monday.

Not to hijack the thread but who are these “undecided swing voters” and where do they hide?

Honestly, how many people have you met that are at the stage where they are definitely going to vote but truly haven’t decided which lever to pull?

It seems to me that the debates serve more to calm any doubts a supporter may have for the candidate they already intend to vote for. Even if that’s the case I would not want to do away with the debates. I think they are important to let the public see what they are getting.

I’m not saying that undecided swing voter aren’t out there. There are people out there that have won the MegaMillions. I just haven’t met any of them.

I agree I think Obama came out as the “loser” in the debate but only just barely…more a tie in my view but to me a tie is a win for McCain. Obviously the current polls disagree with me but whatever.

Certainly I do not feel it is due to Obama’s foreign affairs experience or lack of it. Personally I think he will do FAR better than McCain in foreign affairs. Presidents do not work in a vacuum and have scads of advisors and Biden certainly has the bona fides in that department. I also think Obama is far more thoughtful and intelligent of a person such that he can much more readily process info given him, ask probing questions and form a decision balancing many factors. I think McCain being a “Maverick” means he’ll do a Bush and just bull ahead whatever he thinks is best and damn the torpedoes.

I wanted to see Obama be much stronger in his condemnation of the current administration. He need not look bad jumping on McCain, just pillory Bush which, given the present climate, is a safe and popular bet, easy to do and let McCain suffer by association.

I appreciate Obama is a thoughtful sort but I’d like to see a little more good old fashioned outrage at what the current Administration has gotten us. Instead he sounds like just another politician to me (albeit one who gives better speeches than most).

Re: health-care costs, I found this article very interesting:

My emphasis. And that’s for total spending, not just to pay for insurance. Draw your own conclusions, just thought you might be interested in the cost numbers, which seem in line with the $5K number you quoted.

I am not sure “average” spending is the relevant number applied here. I have not needed any major medical care in 20 years. I get an annual checkup and that is about it.

A year ago I hurt my heel and went to the Emergency Room. Was not an emergency as such but that is where I had to go on a Sunday morning. By the time I was done and had no actual procedures performed (x-ray) the bill was just somewhat north of $3000. That for almost nothing.

If you NEED to be in the hospital for something or other I guarantee that $5000 will disappear in an eyeblink and then what? When you average out the cost with everyone who has not needed health care it seems ok but that is not how it works when you get the bill.

I thought Obama was the way to vote on the basis of a purely anything-but-Bush frame of mind. After seeing part of the debate (was too tired to hear in 90 minutes what I can read in 30), I thought Obama looked pretty poor and McCain didn’t look that bad.

Obama looked too bent on pushing the McCain-Bush link. McCain came off as trying too hard to be cool and fun. Neither impressed.

Have I really changed my mind? I am not sure, but I do think this first debate will make me put more effort on figuring out who is who.

I’m not undecided and I don’t think my candidate lost, but I thought McCain did better than I expected (hoped?) he would. As a highly partisan Democrat, I was looking for McCain to make a huge blunder, to visibly lose his temper, or get caught in a bald-face lie, and he didn’t. But I don’t think he mopped the floor with Obama by any means, and considering he clearly wants to portray himself as knowledgeable and experienced on foreign policy and Obama as ignorant and naive, I think it was a tactical defeat. Or would that be strategic?

Obama had to push the Bush/ McCain link because he had to define the differences between McCain and himself. He also had to keep McCain a bit on the defensiveMcCain’s “you just don’t understand” was a statement about nothing, but was crafted to make it look like Obama was wrongheaded, without actually explaining hat he wasn’t understanding.

Well, I would call it a defeat since it was insulting and nonsensical. As I said, he never defined what Obama didn’t understand. He only said it to give the appearance that Obama did not know what he was talking about.

If not the average, what is relevant? The highest anyone has paid? I think it shows his $5K number was not wacky, was my point, even now including your example. The article, if accurate, also demonstrates how overstated the “health care crisis” is.

The answer is right there in his quote already:

Less care and higher death rates. But he chooses to highlight the monetary costs as if that were the most important thing. I think saving people’s lives takes precedence, but that’s just me.

I thought they both did well, and the answers they gave were basically what I expected from them.

The only thing relevant to *me *is what I pay, not the average. I pay ~$900 every two months for a family of four for a private policy. That’s $5400 just for premiums. To actually get any health care, I have to spend more cash out of pocket until my $2500 deductible is met.

That’s what health insurance looks like when you don’t have it through your employer. If I had an employer absorbing half or more of that cost, then $5000 would be just right.

Last night’s debate was not a blowout. On points, I’d say it was a draw. So any poll movement as a result of it will be more about perception and reassurance.

I think it breaks down like this:

If you were already an Obama supporter, you still are.

If you were already a McCain supporter, you still are.

For independents:

If you were leaning towards Obama, but were unsure of his seriousness, you probably moved closer to voting for Obama.

If you were leaning towards McCain, but didn’t want another boob for a President, you probably moved closer to McCain.

If you were an initial supporter of the war, but became disillusioned with the way it was run, you may have moved a little closer to McCain.

If you were initially opposed to the war, you probably moved a little closer to Obama.

I guess the point is that each candidate had some strengths and weaknesses in the debate, and attracted or repelled voters accordingly. How that translates into overall movement depends on how many people fit into each of those categories.

Overall, I’d say Obama wins, simply because he has the job of reassuring voters that he’s up to the task of being President. I think he got that across last night, so even if the debating points were even, he has to come out the winner.

On that point, check out this post by DSeid in the other debate thread. He quotes a CBS poll of undecided voters showing that Obama “went from a -9 on 'prepared to be president” to a +21,’ among other things. There’s a link to the poll in that post.