The Debates - who won? (1 Viewer)

Jon

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I am looking forward to the horror show coming, namely, the Presidential debates. They are nearly upon us now. In 2016, I watched in awe, finding them very tense but enthralling. I always remember Trump telling HIllary that if he gets into power, she's going to jail!

Hillary wasn't very likeable, and Joe Biden comes across as a warmer more likeable character. Some commentators seem to think that this could make a difference, with many voters choosing their candidate based on how much they like them, rather than the specific policy issues.

Who do you think will win the debates? Will it shift the polls?
 

Steve R.

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Unless there is a major screw-up by Biden, the polls won't change. The reason, as expressed by many on Fox News, if Biden can simply stand for the entire 90 minutes of the debate, the media will unilaterally congratulate him for his deep insightful analysis and declare him to be the winner. The media has already distorted the reporting in favor of Biden. Consequently, one can anticipate that the media will not make any negative statements concerning Biden after the debate other than Biden was too soft on Trump.

As for: "Joe Biden comes across as a warmer more likeable character", it is a carefully constructed mirage. How many will see though that is unknown. But the fact that Biden is ahead in the polls is very troublesome.
 

Isaac

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You know those cheesy sayings like, "The only thing you can count on is change" ?
That's how I'm starting to feel these days. About a month ago, I predicted that some major event would happen between then and the election - then Ruth Ginsberg died.

Both sides are wanting to win so badly it seems like their hair is on fire. I have no idea what will happen, but the thing I think is least likely is the idea that things will remain largely constant and predictable in the next few weeks. Some of the most monied groups of people in the world are putting all their resources to bear, each one working on the exact opposite goal. I think of the Avenged Sevenfold song "This Means War". It just keeps heating up hotter and hotter!

All I will predict is that things will keep being unpredictable. Nothing will surprise me at this point. Literally if one of the candidates tried to have the other one arrested, if a military general ends up deciding the election, if an alien life form descends on Washington and takes over - NOTHING will surprise me, with respect to the current power struggle. That's about all I've learned recently.

One last note. To everything I've said so far, add to that the possibility that one side or the other is actually deliberately keeping one of those "shocking tactics" up their sleeve....And will only pull it out at the last minute if needed. That's another thing I'm watching for. This angle of thinking of it is why I assume more crazy stuff is probably yet to come, all the way up until the final authority proclaims the winner (whether that is by Candidate Concession, Supreme Court, Legislature, Alien Invaders or Military).
 

Jon

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Just had a thought...Although Trump is significantly behind in the betting polls, last time they were off. So, supposedly the new betting companies will factor that in, the hidden enthusiasm factor. But there is one thing that has changed over these last few years. The left seem to be significantly more oppressive and angry towards the right than before. The polarisation seems more extreme to me. So, I figure there will be even more silent voters voting for Trump than would have happened before. Nobody wants to be constantly called a racist, homophobe, deplorable Nazi. Therefore, the polls could still be off kilter.

Do you think there is any merit in that view?
 

Isaac

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I agree. The left is angrier than before, but then again, they've now 'suffered' for 4 years, so it might be considered "typical" for how the not-in-control party feels about the in-control incumbent. (Frankly, to a large extent, that simplistic concept might largely explain 2016, too...People got tired of 8 years of Democrats, so then they voted Republican...I hate to admit it, but the whole thing is often that simple! ... Reactionary pendulum swinging).

But I do think yes the rhetoric and labeling of conservatives has gotten harsher than it ever usually is. Therefore, more people might be hiding their views. It is possible.
 
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Pat Hartman

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Given the constant hatred directed at Trump and his supporters, I'm surprised he is polling better than 20%. Who wants to hold up their hand and have it bitten of by some rabid Marxist? Notice I said bitten, not shot. These people are rabid in their unremitting hatred. And yet they pretend to be all peace and love while they conduct dozens of violent riots, oops, I mean "peaceful demonstrations" every week.

Trump did threaten to send Hillary to jail. I wasn't in favor of that since it would have also involved Bubba and Barry and that would really have torn the country apart. Hillary was not well liked but both President Clinton and President Obama are very well liked. I was quite relieved when after the election, he offered her peace and forgiveness. The Democrats should have taken him at his word and all this would have died down and we would have had 4 years of chaos. But, no, they were simply too stupid to lick their wounds and save themselves to fight another day. I'm hoping now that people in Obama's administration will actually be charged with treason based on what their transition team withheld from the Trump team in their effort to overturn the election before he even took office.

In 2016, Trump voters took it on faith that a non-politician would be better for the country than someone who, if her name weren't Clinton might have even been charged with accessory to murder. Our faith has been rewarded. Trump is the best thing that has happened for this country in decades. He has made amazing progress in fulfilling his campaign promises. If he hadn't been thwarted at every turn by his own party, think of what he could have done. If he gets elected again, he should fire all the left over Obama people the next day. Better to have no department head than one who is actively working against you. I also want him to start the move of as many departments as feasible out of Washington, DC into the heartland. They need the jobs and they should be rewarded with government jobs.

It'll be the wee hours of the morning before Jon gets to see the debates. I've got everything set to record in case I fall asleep. I've decided to watch MSNBC for the "analysis" after the debate. Last time Trump gave a real speech, I watched CNN. It never ceases to amaze me what these talking heads come up with. All I can do is shake my head and say - did you watch the same event that I watched?
 

Pat Hartman

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so it might be considered "typical" for how the not-in-control party feels about the in-control incumbent.
Much as I disliked Obama's policies, I can't say that I ever "hated" him. Actually, I was much more upset by Bush when he invaded Iraq. That was about the most stupid thing he could have done. It got us into a war that almost 20 years later, we still can't extricate ourselves from. Bush the elder should have done it when he beat Iraq back in the first Gulf war while he had world opinion on his side and the Iraqi people ready to step in. Trump would have taken the final step to get rid of Saddam Hussain and Iraq would be at peace today.
 

Jon

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I will watch it on YouTube. Otherwise, it starts at 2am my time.
 

AccessBlaster

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Will the Bernie voters show up? They tend to be young and disinterested if they don't get their way.
 

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Also a couple of pee breaks to accommodate the aging Biden
 

Isaac

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Yeah that whole thing is interesting. A lot of people think Trump is going overboard, but I don't think so necessarily. Teleprompter-type strategies could make a HUGE difference in a debate, and it seems reasonable to request a test to eliminate that possibility. It's funny, it's unprecedented, but it's not crazy to ask for it. As for the drug test, that was never going to happen. First of all, as my elderly friends always remind me - elderly people are usually on TONS of medications. People would spend eternity arguing over whether any of them gave Joe an unfair advantage. Unless of course we found out he popped an Adderall before each debate, now that actually would tell us something.
 

Pat Hartman

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Didn't one of the original game shows put the contestants in isolation booths? I'm sure we could create Faraday cages that blocked electronic transmissions:)
 

Steve R.

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Well, the debate just ended. I don't think that Trump did that well, too adversarial. An additional negative, Trump argued with Wallace, the moderator. New Gingrich, when he was running for President, did a much better job of exposing negative moderator bias.

Biden survived much better than I expected. Biden came across as a (lying) slick-talker who avoided answering difficult questions, such as the one concerning the Supreme Court. I was also mildly disappointed with Wallace, since he failed to press Biden on his inconsistencies. Moreover, Wallace on at least three occasions asked loaded questions that favored Biden over Trump. Additionally, there were a couple of cases where Wallace brought-up and drilled down on Trump inconsistencies, but failed to do that with Biden. As one glaring example, Wallace asked Trump to disavow "white supremacy" (which does not appear to be a legitimate issue), but never demanded that Biden reject the violence being promoted by Black Lives Matter. Overall, it seemed that Wallace mildly favored Biden.

I will now go back and watch the post-mortem on the debate
 
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Isaac

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I am not going to comment too much on Biden because there's nothing new with my opinion there, he's already the guy I'm not voting for so no one would be served by me continuing to hammer that point home.

Instead I'll focus on Trump. He was awful and I'm quite disappointed in him. It's not that I thought he was anything terribly different than what he was tonight, but he really hammered the point home and probably hurt himself. That debate was the most miserable thing I've ever watched in my life.

I also thought Wallace was a bit favored toward biden, I assume what happened is that he worried that people would see him as favoring Trump because of Fox news association, therefore I think he tried too hard to overcorrect.

But it doesn't really matter much. Trump was unspeakably horrible. My prediction is the polls won't move at all, but on the slight chance they do I think it might hurt Trump. he made himself look ridiculous and needed very little help from Wallace to do so.
 

ColinEssex

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Being British, I am confused again with USA elections.
Why is there only two parties participating in the debate? Are there no other parties running for president? And,
What is so interesting about watching two old man slagging each other off, constantly interrupting each other, then slagging off any children.
We all know it's the democrats turn to rule the USA so let's get on with it and defeat the pandemic, defeat white racism against blacks and sort out those stupid gun laws. As far as I can see, the Orangeman has blamed the horrific virus stats on state governments and has nothing to do with it so he can't be blamed.
Apparently it is possible to vote twice in the USA, once by post and once by normal, so whatever the result it could be flawed anyway, especially after the Russians have hacked the result.
Also, I saw Trump holding a rally at the weekend, the huge crowd had no masks or social distancing, they were bunched in like cattle, has the virus been eliminated in the USA?
Col
 

The_Doc_Man

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Col, the USA system differs from the UK system in the idea that you folks need to form a coalition government by getting enough groups together to select a prime minister. If your PM gets a vote of "no confidence" you have to hold some kind of election to see if you can form a new coalition because your government requires it.

We are set up differently so that it is relatively common for us to have a president from one party and a congressional majority from the other party. We have only two parties because politicians have over time "gamed" our system, which was actually designed by our founding fathers to be based on Congressional conflicts and resolution of those conflicts through compromise.

For better or worse, smaller political parties in the USA get no traction. But as the USA population grew, as immigration grew, as the population aged - we reached a point where there was not enough to go around - but nobody wants to increase taxes. The two-party system has evolved as a way for politicians to maximize their "slice of the political pie" to get funding for THEIR view of how government should be. These days both sides are demanding ALL of the pie. Having no compromises means that in theory nothing should get done, and we have seen that. A sign of the ongoing impasse is that the USA's government had to pass yet another "stop-gap" funding bill (short-term authorization to continue to run the government) because Congress cannot reach a true compromise on a budget that funds the various departments.

On another point, a Democratic win would not defeat the pandemic. Trump is not totally wrong that virus stats are partly due to state governments and their individual methods of facing the crisis. Our system very strongly limits the length and strength of government mandates for unusual circumstances. In fact, the state of Pennsylvania is currently working its way through an adverse federal court ruling to the effect that the state's governor issued "unconstitutional" orders regarding masks and isolation. The logic inside the ruling would be alien to folks who don't understand our legal setup here, but in essence someone successfully sued the state to get the "mask + isolation" orders invalidated due to excessive duration and lack of long-term authority. Our system is set up for localized autonomy and doesn't allow long-term restrictive rules to be put in place on the population as a whole. The state of Louisiana has a different - yet oddly similar - approach in that the state legislature has convened a session to limit the governor's "mask + isolation" authority.

You talked about our voting system. It is not legal in the USA to vote twice, but the system of mail-in ballots isn't being uniformly controlled because the pandemic has led to unusual conditions that we have not faced before; at least, not of this magnitude. There are ways to assure the security of mail-in ballots but not every state uses that system. About 20 years ago we used different systems and Al Gore lost to George Bush in a highly contested election that ended up with the Supreme Court having to step in on a case in Florida having to do with incorrectly completed punch-card mail-in ballots. You could look up "hanging chad" to see the stories coming out of that incident. The issues of "vote-buying" and disenfranchisement are becoming significant concerns this year. (And as an aside, I am astounded that the spell-checker never even hiccuped on "disenfranchisement".)

You tossed in a comment on "stupid gun laws" but that is yet another example of a concept that is alien to you. The USA recognizes that people with guns can do bad things but the solution isn't to take away guns. It is to take out the bad people. This country was originally devised to be comprised of a bunch of relatively self-sufficient people. Guns were reasonable as a way for those people to protect themselves. As time has marched on, the traditional self-sufficient family has become less common. There are those of us who think that the real solution to gun violence isn't to take away guns but to stop states from preventing "concealed carry" licenses. When a criminal thinks he faces return fire, he often rethinks his idea of robbing people. It's called "deterrence" and it works not only at the international level (vis-a-vis nuclear war) but at the individual level. This will of course probably trigger yet another round of gun arguments here on the forum.
 

Galaxiom

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I thought the presidential election is a vote on which candidate was hated the least.
 

ColinEssex

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I thought the presidential election is a vote on which candidate was hated the least.
No, it's the one with the least votes from the populace that wins. Like Bush, Trump et al.

Thanks Doc for your explanation. All we see on the news today is two supposed intelligent men squabbling like two children in a playground, it's disgusting, un-professional, and lacks statesmanship and decorum. Yet one of these 7 year old children will be the most powerful person in the world. God help us all. Just think, out of 300 million people, these two children are the best you can come up with. This is a joke, yes?
Col
 

Steve R.

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No, it's the one with the least votes from the populace that wins. Like Bush, Trump et al.
False. Winning is based on the votes of the Electoral College. The US is not yet a country were winning is simply based on the popular vote. Those are the rules, whether you think the rules are just or unjust, that is how the game is played.
 

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