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Post Fight Analysis

Posted by on October 17, 2012
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Last night’s debate was more like a boxing match that was declared a draw after outside interference from the referee than a presidential debate.  It was the prefight fight designed to garner even greater interest for the actual upcoming pay-per-view title fight.  However, the audience in attendance, which came in the form of the post debate focus groups of undecided voters, didn’t agree with either the referee’s final decision or the post fight analysis from the press.  For the most part they saw it as a Romney victory.  The reason for the disparity of opinions between the audience and the pugilistic pundits who called the fight is because they had each formulated their final opinions of the debate/fight from totally different perspectives. Pundits have a tendency to score every debate answer on an equal footing of possible points as every other answer.  They often view the scoring of the debate itself the same way that a ring judge scores a boxing match where the score of round 1 is given the same weight as the score of round 2, etc.  However, the average person doesn’t think that way.  The average person looks for that one significant moment that speaks to them the most personally and then uses the rest of the night’s answers to solidify that opinion.  In other words, that standing 8 count in round 2 is still on the judge’s mind as he scores round 5.  Once a knock down has been registered all those otherwise meaningless punches start taking on value to reinforce that the knock down in round 2 wasn’t just a fluke.  It’s human nature to think that way. As I’ve stated before presidential candidates have 3 things to focus on during a campaign.  The economy is top priority, followed by foreign policy, with social issues following up the rear.  Once you get to the actual debates that number drops to 2.  The problem with social issues is that they are almost always a 50/50 proposition.  They hold the least significant value for either side because the more you befriend one side the more you alienate the other.  Therefore, a lot of the questions asked last night might have appeared significant on their own, but in the grand scheme of the debate were nothing more than meaningless punches. Post debate polling proved that the most overwhelmingly significant subject last night was in fact the economy.  Romney held a huge advantage on that topic in all the major polls.  He won that topic once he was able to give a 2 minute uninterrupted dissection of the overall economic numbers after 4 years under Obama.  Obama, on the other hand, didn’t have any means to refute the facts.  That became the moment Romney scored his standing 8 count on Obama.  That one moment became so engrained into the mind of the average viewer/judge that in essence every other answer was used to either reinforce that opinion or became a meaningless punch. In terms of the significance of the overall campaign I don’t think this debate will move many polls the way the first one did.  The first debate was used to help the true undecided voters make up their minds.  The follow up debates are used to entice the respective bases to show up and vote.  Basically, what the polls look like now is probably what they will also look like on November 6th.  The only thing that remains isn’t what people’s opinions are.  It’s whether or not they act on those opinions by showing up at the ballot box.
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