Who won the debate?

8 Oct

It’s beginning to seem as if the content of the debate itself makes little difference. What people really care about are the pronouncements of the pundits and pollsters about who “won.”

It’s still true that people are subject to selective perception. They tend to  hear in a debate what they expect to hear and want to hear.

But the fact that more people now are registered independents or, at least, think of themselves as making vote choices independent of any political party may mean that debates play a bigger role than they did in the past. Any opportunity to hear the candidates speak and watch them interact with an audience may actually be fodder to help them make up their minds.

So maybe the real winner of the debate will be whichever candidate actually swayed voters to choose him when they go to the polls on Nov. 4. And the pundits and pollsters won’t have nearly as much to do with that as will the voters themselves.

Maybe there is some redeeming value in the way the system works.

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