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CBS says Edwards won. I understand from CNN that some network which is neither CNN nor CBS says Cheney won. Fox? But maybe a real network. The neutral analysts are calling it a tie, which is a de facto win for Edwards since he had more to prove. Or at least it would be a de facto win if anyone really based there votes in the election on the question of who's more competent to be VP. The question on the ballot, though, is who will make the better president? It seems from the reactions on the rightwing blogs that everyone agrees Cheney would make a better leader than Bush. But what does it say about Bush if Edwards and Cheney are about even, Kerry is better than Edwards, and Cheney is better than Bush? Nothing good.

Speaking personally, I haven't yet actually seen the debate, so it's hard to venture an opinion.

UPDATE: Mark Kleiman explains:

ABC had a sample of all voters, strongly skewed toward Republicans (38% Republican, 31% Democratic. That sample gave Cheney the edge 43-35, but the debate moved the Presidental preference numbers slightly toward the Democrats, going from 51-48 to 50-49.
Obviously, there are disputes in the fields of both semantics and statistics theory that one could have about this ABC result, but the goal of the Kerry-Edwards campaign is the boost the Kerry-Edwards vote share, which they seem to have accomplished, albeit not by very much.

October 5, 2004 | Permalink


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» Debate Round-Up: Wictory Wednesday from ~Neophyte Pundit~
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ABC polling said Cheney won.

Posted by: ska | Oct 5, 2004 11:49:10 PM

I understand from CNN that some network which is neither CNN nor CBS says Cheney won. Fox?

Mark Halpern (on Charlie Rose) said that it was ABC who called it for Cheney.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Oct 5, 2004 11:49:32 PM

ABC is calling it a Cheney victory, by something like 43 - 35, with the rest saying tie. They did note that at least their audience was 38 - 31 Republican, with the rest independent.


Posted by: adam j. sontag | Oct 5, 2004 11:50:25 PM

Kerry is better than Edwards.

FWIW, not in my book. But I'm a big Edwards fan. He needs a bit more practice/political experience, but I would much rather see a President Edwards than a President Kerry.

Posted by: SoCalJustice | Oct 5, 2004 11:51:58 PM

The MSNBC panel of Matthews, Brokaw, Russet and (Ron) Reagan (hardly shills for the Bush administration) all said that Cheney won the debate and I'd be inclined to agree with them.

Posted by: LJ | Oct 5, 2004 11:53:19 PM

I thought Edwards was excellent. Remember this is a 90 minute campaign commercial. It is not about winning the debate, rather it is about maximizing free air time and making a case for yourself.

I thought Edwards connected big time. Professional political watchers may note things to Cheney's advantage but they all seemed like Gore "Dingle-Norwood bill" moments or Bob Dole "What about the china files?" moments (The average person knows nothing of Medicare part B passed in 1997 that blah, blah, blah). For 2% of the public that is into politics, Cheney scored points, but for your average person out there, Edward hit a home run.

My wife turned to PBS and their coverage and it was definitely in Edward's favor. The hard three presidential historians who hoped on the Nixon (VP) and Kennedy debates as a model. Nixon had the gravitas and solemnity, but Kennedy had the vision, freshness, sunnyness, optimisn, and enthusiasm that blunted the experience factor.

I thought Edwards was excellent tonite.

Posted by: Ono | Oct 6, 2004 12:06:44 AM

The Wall Street Journal reader poll (subscription required) has Edwards winning by 94% to Cheney's 5%.

Posted by: Robert Carlsen | Oct 6, 2004 12:15:34 AM

I thought Cheney was somewhat better in the debate. Edwards did rather well in the second half, when he could talk about the domestic issues for which he has a good feel, and he looked more relaxed and confident in that half. But Cheney was much better in the first half, where he gave the impression of talking about issues about which he has detailed, hands-on knowledge. Edwards seemed just to be reciting Kerry campaign talking points.

Edwards also spent too much time, I thought, using his valuable seconds to go back and respond to earlier Cheney claims, rather than responding to the question that was on the table. It disrupted the continuity and intelligibility of his message somewhat.

I also thought the format *really* helped Cheney in this case. Edwards is much better when he can walk around and use his hand gestures and engaging body language, while Cheney does better sitting and with something in front of him. Cheney is a CEO-type, and the ultimate desk guy. If they were standing, you would have had the picture of a slouched, tensely aloof, bald and portly Cheney against the spry, open and energetic Edwards.

However, I doubt the debate will have any impact on the election. If you don't like the Bush foreign policy, then Cheney's apparent expertise in executing that policy will not strike you as a particularly good thing. Cheney looked more competent in the foreign policy area. But since I detest his policies, I regard the competence as a malevolent competence - something like the competence of an Atilla at burning villages.

As the new, young guy, I thought Edwards's goal was just not to make a complete ass of himself, and to look acceptably solid. I thought he accomplished that goal well enough, so the campaign will now turn back to the main event: Bush v. Kerry.

Posted by: Dan Kervick | Oct 6, 2004 12:28:13 AM

Or at least it would be a de facto win if anyone really based there votes in the election

Geez, dude, you're great at all sorts of subtle philosophical distinctions. Is the "their/there" distinction THAT hard? And no, it's not like this is the first time.

Posted by: bobo brooks | Oct 6, 2004 12:28:53 AM

Cheney was a big improvement over Bush, though Edwards held his own just fine. More importantly, Cheney's very command of issues and policy has the odd but unmistakeable effect of attenuating, rather than mitigating, Bush's cluelessness.

Posted by: son volt | Oct 6, 2004 12:39:26 AM

Something funny I noticed--at one point Cheney said people should visit to "factcheck.com" to get more information on a factual dispute between him and Edwards. The actual site he was obviously thinking of was factcheck.org...and where does factcheck.com redirect you to? georgesoros.com, of course. Fortunately for the Republicans, probably only a few nerds would actually go to that site to find out what Cheney was talking about, but that was some pretty good foresight on Soros' part.

Posted by: Jesse M. | Oct 6, 2004 12:50:28 AM

The idea that Cheney would make a better president than Bush can't withstand more than the most superficial scrutiny. Sure, he can speak in complete sentences, and that's a plus. But he is also ideological to the point of blindness, and lies without remorse (the scary thing is--maybe he really believes what he's saying?) Think about it: What has he accomplished in his career? Halliburton is reeling from the disastrous decisions he approved as CEO (asbestos lawsuits, accounting scandals). During his time in the House he was an extremely loyal vote for corporate interests, and against the interests of the middle and working classes. What's he done that was good for this country? Ever? That Bush makes him look intelligent says more about Bush than it does about Cheney.

Posted by: superdude | Oct 6, 2004 1:00:35 AM

Here are all the polls to hit right now, nicely color-coded.

Posted by: Matt | Oct 6, 2004 1:26:07 AM

So superdude, being loyal to corporate interests is essentially bad for all of us - is that what you are saying? Unless you are a shareholder in Halliburton, I can't give you that one. I'm wondering how exactly my middle and/or working class interests have been encroached upon somehow by Cheney?

What has he accomplished in his career?

Obviously successful enough become Vice President of the United States, but not quite successful enough to get the respect of superdudes like yourself. Finally, the most recent good thing that he's done for this country is to be respectful to Edwards while at the same time mopping the floor with him.

Posted by: Drew - Dallas, TX | Oct 6, 2004 1:31:03 AM

The actual site he was obviously thinking of was factcheck.org...

Even that site doesn't do a lot of good for Big Time Dick. Right now, there are six stories on their home page: four about misleading ads by Bush, one about misleading ads by Kerry, and one tie ("Bush and Kerry both have problems with the facts...").

Posted by: TomF | Oct 6, 2004 3:34:59 AM

"Edwards seemed just to be reciting Kerry campaign talking points."

Funny, that's what I thought of Cheney - he mostly recited the Bush/Cheney talking points. He just had a better command of them than Bush - no surprise there.

Agree, standing at a lecturn would have shown Edwards in a much better light - to the detriment of Cheney. Unfortunately, I believe in order to get B/C to agree to the third debate that was one of the prerequisites.

Posted by: sofia | Oct 6, 2004 4:01:31 AM

The vote-share-increasing part comes tomorrow, when people who didn't watch the debate (i.e. most people) go to work and talk about it, I'm convinced.

Posted by: neil | Oct 6, 2004 4:14:54 AM

This debate had huge significance. It was a turning point not only in this election but in Dem politics as well. Edwards proved himself to be not only Vice Presidential material, but Presidential material as well.

In his performance last night, Edwards gave a huge boost to Kerry and to his own future. There is simply no Republican out there -- including McCain -- who has the combination of intelligence, charisma, empathy, and good judgment that Edwards has.

Posted by: Econo Buzz | Oct 6, 2004 6:52:53 AM

The next time either Cheney or Bush ask John Kerry how he is going to pay for the things he wants to do, John can refer him to the taxwisdom.org website.

Not everyone is interested in an analysis of tax policy options, but if you've taken a course or two in economics and you believe that rich people should be taxed more to pay for the pressing needs of this country, then you can expect a very good read.

By the way, it looks like the well-known progressive organization United for a Fair Economy is going to run with the Taxwidom.org arguments. Stay tuned...


Posted by: Taxwisdom.org | Oct 6, 2004 8:17:25 AM

If the networks had more Republicans, then where were all the Dems? Watching Fox or something.

Posted by: Chad | Oct 6, 2004 12:35:58 PM

Both CBS and Democracy Corps, which polled only uncommitted voters, said Edwards won about 40-25. Not as good as Kerry, but still a win. ABC had a random sample of viewers, and apparently Republicans are more likely to watch the VP debate.

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