The VP Debate

Who won the Vice Presidential Debate last night?

I guess it depends on what “won” means in this context.

I, personally, thought that Cheney was more persuasive. He came off as intelligent, thoughtful, in command of the facts and arguments relevant to the topics. I thought Edwards was just mouthing slogans that were either wrong or misleading or content-free.

But, then, I came to the debate finding the Cheney line on Iraq, for example, to have merit. If I hadn’t, I suspect that I would have been more likely to see Cheney as misleading and deceitful, and Edwards as an effective critic of the mistakes and proponent of a better alternative.

So, I don’t think many people who had a preference before the debate will have changed it because of the debate (even if they thought that the opposition candidate performed better technically).

So, who won? I guess it depends on which was more effective at swaying undecided likely voters to prefer his side. I don’t claim to understand those people well enough to know which way they are more likely to have been pushed. If they haven’t decided about Iraq by now, they either haven’t been paying attention or they just don’t think about these things in a way I understand.

So…I have no idea. And I don’t have enough confidence in polls to tell me.

The bottom-line, I think, is that neither did so poorly so as to lose existing support. I suspect that it won’t really cause much of a change in the election outcome one way or the other.


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