Thursday, October 4, 2012

How Big Bird stole last night's debate

While mainstream media commentators and snap polls seem to indicate that Mitt Romney "won" last night's debate, the most important impact is what people will remember a few days from now.

As an avid Obama observer from early 2007, I remember next to nothing from the 2008 primary and general election debates. The only thing that last night's debate brought back was the president's "professorial" style, which apparently does not appeal to many debate watchers.

However, his debating style has never really had much impact on how voters perceive him.  Indeed, debates only rarely change the course of an election.  At the most, both camps will hope that something will stick in the minds of voters after seeing the two candidates rumble.

In this case, it appears that Mitt Romney's comments on cutting funding for PBS and firing Big Bird may be the biggest takeaway from the debate.  The topics trended all night and into Thursday morning on Twitter. A  popular series of related memes is circulating on Facebook.

Not clear if this will have any impact on the polls.  Gallup and Rasmussen conduct tracking polls, but it would be surprising if this will register in any meaningful way.















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