Perspective: Testy VP Debate

October 12, 2012 01:46 AM
 

via a special arrangement with Informa Economics, Inc.

Both candidates talked to their bases


NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


While both vice president candidates talked to their base, the key issue is whether any one of them won over the undecided voter.

Unlike last week's first presidential debate in which there was a clear winner (GOP challenger Mitt Romney), Thursday's debate between VP Joe Biden and GOP Rep. Paul Ryan is being deemed a draw by most nonpartisan observers and some, but not all polls. Those favoring Ryan note that Biden's debate aggressiveness bordered on rudeness and contempt. Biden supporters noted he accomplished what Obama did not – drawing clear differences on key Democratic issues like Medicare and taxes. Biden interrupted Ryan many times.

There is not a consensus over who won. A CNN survey of registered voters who watched the debate found 48% calling Paul Ryan the winner, to 44% for Vice President Biden. But while 28% said the debate made them more likely to back the Romney/Ryan ticket and 21% to vote for Obama/Biden, half of respondents said it would have no impact on their decision. A CBS News survey of uncommitted voters gave Biden the edge, 50% to 31%, with 19% calling the debate a tie.


Bottom line: While Biden's loud comments likely uplifted dispirited Democrats, it is still unclear how the strategy played with independents or undecided voters. Biden spoke to his Democratic base who became despondent after Obama's performance. Biden was aggressive, and Ryan held his own. Ryan's demeanor/style likely appealed to independents – and particularly independent women – which if confirmed would help the ticket.

 


 

NOTE: This column is copyrighted material, therefore reproduction or retransmission is prohibited under U.S. copyright laws.


 


 

 

 

 

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