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The Max 2
Rmoney is going to get up there expecting to debate the cryptomuslim stuffed suit helpless without a TelePrompTer faux Carter and upon facing the political genius who managed to make $8millions out of politics alone, he's going to shit his magic gammies.
Posted by The Max on October 1, 2012 at 10:56 AM · Report this
Geocrackr 3
No one's going to "win" because they're not debates, they're "debates".
Posted by Geocrackr on October 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
@1 is right. Obama will be eloquent, persuasive, and passionate. And it won't make the slightest difference.
Posted by NateMan on October 1, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
ryanayr 5
Nate Silver's analysis of the campaign at this point was really interesting: apparently with the amount that Romney is behind it is the statistical equivalent of a football team being down by one touchdown in the 4th quarter.…
Posted by ryanayr on October 1, 2012 at 11:08 AM · Report this
Romney is used to the Battle Royal primary style debate in where he survives by letting the other competitors exhaust themselves. So he’s got some serious Rocky in the snow conditioning to do before stepping into the ring.
Posted by sall on October 1, 2012 at 11:09 AM · Report this
I'm going to have to go with @2.
These aren't "debates".
They're scripted topical sketch comedies.
The only questions are whether one side can throw the other side off of its script.
And, if so, can they exploit that advantage.

I think Obama has a slight edge in that he has more comments he can make about Romney's failings.
Romney will probably counter by never saying anything new (it's Obama's fault) and never giving any specifics (it's Obama's fault).
Posted by fairly.unbalanced on October 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this
mrbarky 8
It will be Zingeriffic!
Posted by mrbarky on October 1, 2012 at 11:10 AM · Report this
That's the second time today someone has asked me if I am not entertained. The other time was about Justin Bieber, though.
Posted by jzimbert on October 1, 2012 at 11:14 AM · Report this
Will in Seattle 10
Never forget that Mitt learned all about politics during his Tour of Duty in France when he was avoiding combat service in Vietnam.

He'll mop the floor with Barack.
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 1, 2012 at 11:17 AM · Report this
MacCrocodile 11
I think it's silly to say there'll be no difference at all. It's easy for us in the non-swing states to say that, because we are nowhere near center, and we're not bombarded with constant political advertising (at least not the presidential stuff). Remember how the debates undid McCain and Palin?

It's incredibly unlikely that Obama is going to lose any voters in the debates; he has repeatedly shown himself to be a capable debater. This is basically Romney's chance to stop the bleeding or cut the wound larger.
Posted by MacCrocodile on October 1, 2012 at 11:26 AM · Report this
I'm pretty sure Gay Dude for Romney will enlighten us as to who won it. He always knows so much about politics!
Posted by CbytheSea on October 1, 2012 at 11:27 AM · Report this
Urgutha Forka 13
I'm more interested in how drunk I'll get:

Debate bingo is good too, but I couldn't find a good site with a card anywhere.
Posted by Urgutha Forka on October 1, 2012 at 11:34 AM · Report this
biffp 14
Agree with 2 and 7. My only interest is in the zingers that the two sides have prepared. Mitt can't tell a joke so get ready for 30 second intervals of total awkwardness. Obama should have some great 47% slams to deliver, and I'm looking forward to watching Romney's face and his attempt at comebacks. The Romney billionaire camp swears this is the re-start of his campaign, and he should be coming with specifics and a list of deductions for elimination to balance his 50% increase in spending and tax cuts for his buddies - but his arrogance won't permit it. He'll try to win by default like he has since May. Total douche.
Posted by biffp on October 1, 2012 at 11:35 AM · Report this
Chris Govella 15
I see the debates changing the direction of the dialogue on a national level, but I don't think that will translate into a distinct change in votes for the presidential race. most everybody has made up his or her mind for the presidential race. if the dialogue does change, I imagine down ticket politicians at the state and local level will want to adjust tactics, especially in Washington where Barry is certain to get votes, but the state Senate is more uncertain.
Posted by Chris Govella on October 1, 2012 at 11:38 AM · Report this
Zebes 16
In the 2016 elections, I think everybody should use cooking metaphors instead, just to freshen up the dialogue a bit.
Posted by Zebes on October 1, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
You should be sued for not putting Gary Johnson in this poll.
Posted by cliche on October 1, 2012 at 11:44 AM · Report this
Ziggity 18
We'll ALL* be winners** when our democracy*** is enriched by open**** discussion***** of ideas******.

*White, employed land-owning males 18-64, with household incomes greater than $250k
**more or less ignored
***such that a voter in Wyoming has 3 times the influence on the outcome as a voter in Washington State, while residents of Washington, DC shall have no direct representation
****scripted and carefully vetted
*****oneupmanship and "zingers"
******wedge issues and buzzwords that have very little to do with the average American's livelihood
Posted by Ziggity on October 1, 2012 at 11:49 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 19
For my fellow Denverites (there are more of you than one would ordinarily expect), don't forget to stay the hell away from DU and I-25, because of all the road closures. The big one being i-25 from Santa Fe Dr to Hampden, starting at 5:00pm Mountain. That has the potential to fuck up so much of the city - no idea how they're going to detour all that rush hour traffic*, but I bet any street that approaches the freeway is going to be choking with cars, and that's for the whole length of it, not just the closed portion. Just try to be home early, make sure you don't have to run any errands, hunker down, tune in, and watch the fun...

* After writing that, I looked it up and they think all those cars can go down Santa Fe to eastbound Hampden - what a nightmare. That's a single-lane cloverleaf exit to a road that narrows by one lane at Broadway, widens again but eventually narrows a second time. AND traffic usually sucks ass to begin with....
Posted by Matt from Denver on October 1, 2012 at 11:54 AM · Report this
Paul, "checkmate" is from chess, which is probably not considered by most people to be a sport. Is it possible you know less about sports than I do?
Posted by Sebastián LeBang on October 1, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
Looking For a Better Read 21
I think the debates will ultimately have little influence in the outcome.
1. Obama is already leading, and currently expanding on that lead.
2. If the debate is a draw, or Obama comes out ahead, no change in 1. In particular, if Romney stumbles badly, his campaign has not demonstrated the ability to mitigate any long-term damage, and at this point, we have no reason to expect anything different.
3. If Romney is seen to come out ahead:
a. his campaign has not demonstrated the ability to build any momentum behind any opportunity (exhibit 1: GOP convention)
b. Obama has repeatedly shown that he and his campaign staff have the dexterity to correct course and mitigate any potential damage. Also, I suspect that they have a number of historical tidbits about Romney just waiting to be deployed when needed (another 47% video, or evidence that he took part in the UBS tax amnesty offering, or something similar).
c. therefore, no change in 1.
Posted by Looking For a Better Read on October 1, 2012 at 11:57 AM · Report this

Great idea! We could do them "Iron Chef" style: "Okay candidates, tonight's theme topic is: education. You each have one hour to formulate a coherent policy position - and go!"
Posted by COMTE on October 1, 2012 at 12:03 PM · Report this
I wanted to vote for Jim Lehrer. Not that he needs to polish his credentials, they're shiny enough already, but he's going to be the most awesome person on that stage.

As for the combatants, Romney has way more pressure on him to do something. Obama just has to ignore the attacks. Oh, and maybe ask one question: "If your tax cuts won't actually cut the taxes of the top tier, as you now claim they won't, what exactly will they accomplish, and how?"

I envision various grindy-gear noises as Mitt seizes up and smoke pours from his ears.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on October 1, 2012 at 12:09 PM · Report this
Will in Seattle 24
@13 for the Epic Drink Night win!

Remember, folks, you should drink beer or hard cider. Drinking shots in such large quantities can be bad for you.

And have a designated Non-drinker. Or take the bus. The slow slow post-Busruption bus that now takes twice as long to get from here to there.
Posted by Will in Seattle on October 1, 2012 at 12:41 PM · Report this
wisepunk 25
@20 Chess Championships have been shown on ESPN.
Posted by wisepunk on October 1, 2012 at 12:45 PM · Report this
sperifera 26
Ummm, @8, everyone knows that Rule #1 about Zinger Club is that you don't talk about Zinger Club!
Posted by sperifera on October 1, 2012 at 1:01 PM · Report this
venomlash 27
Posted by venomlash on October 1, 2012 at 1:38 PM · Report this
Where can we go watch the debates socially? I love election season drinking!
Posted by ishf on October 1, 2012 at 2:16 PM · Report this
Free Lunch 29
@1 and @4 - Not making the slightest difference is a win for Obama, considering Romney is losing badly.
Posted by Free Lunch on October 1, 2012 at 7:58 PM · Report this
@20 -- #25 beat me to it. I remember reading about Bobby Fischer and Spassky in Sports Illustrated. If you don't know this, you probably don't know as much about sports as Paul does.

By the way, great poll questions (very amusing). Speaking of sports analogies, the debate is usually a loser's game. Because it isn't a classic debate, you really can't "win it". Generally speaking, the best you can do is not make a mistake and hope your opponent does. Just try and return serve, so to speak.

The only exception is when a candidate goes into the debate with a stupid image that can be reversed. Reagan is too old? Just say something snappy. George W. Bush is too stupid? String a few good sentences together and everyone is impressed. Neither candidate can overcome their negative image very easily, so I doubt anything will change. Obama has to overcome the idea that he failed to single-handedly rescue the economy while Romney has to overcome the idea that he is a dick. It sounds to me like Obama has the easier task.
Posted by Ross on October 1, 2012 at 8:40 PM · Report this
Ipso Facto 31
Here's what I'll be watching:

Third Party Candidates to Join in Real Time on Democracy Now!’s Live Coverage of First Pres. Debate

As President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney square off in the first presidential debate in Denver on October 3, Democracy Now! will broadcast live from Denver with a special expanded presidential debate from 8:30 to 11:30 p.m. ET. We will air the debate, pausing after questions to include equal time responses from two presidential contenders who were shut out of the official debate: Jill Stein of the Green Party and Rocky Anderson of the Justice Party.

Click to see our recent coverage of the Green Party, and Anderson’s interview on Democracy Now! after announcing he would run for president.

Click here to see all of our coverage of Election 2012.
Posted by Ipso Facto on October 1, 2012 at 11:48 PM · Report this
@20: Anyone who doesn't consider Chess to be a sport clearly doesn't understand it.
Posted by Friendstastegood on October 2, 2012 at 7:51 AM · Report this
McJulie 33
@5 The morning after the infamous Seahawks victory, my husband's quip was "The Supreme Court declared the Seahawks the winners of last night's game." So there's precedent.

Obama will "win" the debates easily because all he has to do to turn Romney into a petulant, whining toddler is ask him to explain himself or give specifics.
Posted by McJulie on October 2, 2012 at 8:23 AM · Report this

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