The Eclectic Quill

October 8, 2008

Obama Wins Debate, Filibuster Proof Senate?

Filed under: Politics — Kelly @ 5:16 pm

Once again the pundits are saying that this debate had no clear winner, and once again they couldn’t be more wrong. It boggles my mind how what should be an inescapable conclusion isn’t. There’s one way, and only one way to determine if there was a winner. There’s no such thing as "points" here. There are only voters and voters overwhelmingly broke for Obama on this one in both the CBS and CNN polls. Ergo, Obama won. Of the roughly 23 percent of previously undecided voters who made up their mind, 13 percent broke Obama and 10 percent McCain. That’s actually much bigger than it might sound since Obama is now passing the 50 percent threshold in the daily tracking polls, but that hardly scratches the surface. The polling reflects a far bigger picture, and the end result could very well be a filibuster proof Senate for Barack Obama.

There were a couple of very telling points in the debate which haven’t gotten the same amount of attention from the pundits. First at one point, while Obama was speaking, McCain, unable to tolerate a point of view other than his own being expressed, paced about the stage, bringing to mind images of Mr. Burns , especially after he started railing on about nuclear power. Watching the debate on CNN I watched the little lies most of the debate, and Obama far and away scored higher on all but one question. One question was particularly striking in the difference between how voters responded. When McCain answered about health care, the lies hung down around the middle of the graph, when Obama answered the question, the women had him topped off for virtually the entire answer. It was the most positive point for either candidate during the entire debate. In the debate the lines showed one very clear thing, that voters liked Obama better than McBurns.

If you want to see the details the click the links to the polls above but the bottom line you can draw from voter response is this, more voters like Obama, thought he was more likely to bring change to Washington, thought he was less of a "typical" politician, thought he was smarter and trusted him more on the single most important issue in this election, the economy. They also felt McBurns was more negative and less likely to answer questions. Most of these were large breaks as well, often going 2-1, 3-1, or even 4-1. Put together independent voters by and large thought Obama was smarter and more likely to bring change to the most important issue they face, and it’s one they don’t like. In the end it’s hard to see them going for the cranky dumb guy who doesn’t really seem to want to change anything. And remember, this was supposed to be McBurs’ debate.

On top of this add the fact that this week the economic news has been either bad or worse. The Dow tumbled yesterday. Paulson had a press conference today, and the Dow dropped again. Whenever there’s been bad economic news there’s been a corresponding change in the polls favoring not only Obama, but Democrats in general, across the board, in other races as well. Already the Senate is shaping up to look like a 57-43 split according to the polling, and that includes five Republican states within the margin of error. That also is weighting several polls, some of which were taken before the bailout. For instance, before the bailout Franken trailed Coleman in Minnesota by 9 points, now he leads by 4. Now Coleman, who has made transparency a centerpiece of his campaign has apparently been getting some extravagant gifts, there’s something sketchy going on about it and he’s something less than transparent . Minnesota could easily shift to the Democrats. The latest polls in Georgia, North Carolina and Kentucky are all virtual deadlocks. One other point to look at is Obama’s huge voter registration drive in North Carolina and Georgia, as well as the huge turnout of black voters in Mississippi. On top of this is the "cell phone" voters, who are those who only have cell phones and aren’t polled. These constitute over 10 percent of the electorate and are more likely to vote for Obama. Generally when they are polled it makes a difference of 2-3 points for Obama. Another move in the direction of the Democrats, and suddenly we’re considering a very realistic possibility that the Dems could get 60 Senate seats, a dream beyond dreaming two years ago.

Another factor to add into this equation that there will be a verdict on "Troopergate " announced this Friday. Palin has already been faltering in the polls apart from the base, doing a better job of convincing people she shouldn’t be Vice President than that she should be. All her fallacious negative attacks about the negative company that Obama is keeping leave her open to the very legitimate stories that are getting attention in the blogosphere , but haven’t yet hit the mainstream news. If she persists in these attacks then filter their way into the mainstream news. That could have devastating repercussions to the McCain campaign. Yet to not attack takes away the only thing that Palin is any good at. If the "Troopergate" comes out well for her it will just say she is guilty of poor judgment. This would still be a big black-eye to McCain for two reasons. First, it will reflect on his judgment that he chose, without properly vetting a veep who has bad judgment. Second, it will inevitably lead to reports about his own slap on the wrist for "bad judgment" in the last major financial crisis we had. And remember, this is the best case scenario. If she’s found guilty of abuse of power or worse it would be nothing less than a complete humiliation to McCain. However for all her faults Palin has become the energy of the campaign and absent her the campaign is going to be utterly listless.

Finally add on the fact that according to a CNN poll released yesterday, 6 in 10 voters said they believe that Obama will win the election. Even if you accept that every Obama voter thinks this then it would still mean that about 1 in 4 McCain voters don’t believe their guy will win. People don’t always fight traffic ad wait in long lines to vote for a guy they believe is going to lose, especially if it’s not a guy they are all that excited about anyway, and honestly most Republicans are not enthusiastic about McCain. This is likely to be even more pronounced after last night’s performance, which many believe was McCain’s last big chance to turn things around. This is starting to look more like a landslide than a close election. McCain’s not going to win any votes for Republican Senators and



  1. Stands & applauds Kelly!
    once again……girl you are powerful & committed!

    you are correct, every republican that i personally know, has no intentions of voting for him. so many are crossing lines this year. Last nights debate was another example of the absolute contempt he shows towards Obama. Funny how’s that working out for him?

    Comment by CK0712 — October 8, 2008 @ 5:51 pm | Reply

  2. Even my parents are voting Obama….and that’s saying something. They haven’t voted Democrat in 30+ years.

    If you haven’t seen my recent post, check it out. I think you will appreciate it.

    Great stuff from you as always.

    Comment by Karmic Boomerang — October 8, 2008 @ 8:05 pm | Reply

  3. the Daily Show had a hilarious take of the debate last night

    McSame was “wandering around looking for his puppy, Puddles”

    Comment by 3rdStoneFromTheSun — October 9, 2008 @ 8:52 am | Reply

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