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marinelife's avatar

Have you or has anyone you know personally had their mind changed or made a decision on who to vote for based on a debate?

Asked by marinelife (62435points) September 27th, 2008

I’m talkin’ Presidential politics. If not debates, what could we do that was more 21st century? The debates seem awfully scripted these days.

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6 Answers

fireside's avatar

I think the debates really change very few minds. Most of the people I know of who watched the debates were already decided one way or the other. Watching only reinforced their original opinion.

I can’t think of a single time when I heard someone say that they had changed their mind because of a debate. But I hear that the Reagan/Carter debates in 1980 was good and the Nixon/Kennedy one obviously influenced people’s votes (though that was also due to the fact that it was televised)..

Campaigning of all kinds should really be done away with. Someone posted earlier I’ll have to dig through posts to find the reference that they thought elections should just be a simple ballot with the names of the candidates and a list of issues with a simple check mark on where they stand for each. I think that is perfect.

The Baha’is have a great method for elections

No campaigning and candidates are chosen from a simple list and each voter is asked to meditate personally on who they feel possess the following qualities:
-unquestioned loyalty
-selfless devotion
-a well trained mind
-recognized ability
-mature experience

seVen's avatar

Yes, the only one who’s qualified to run is Ron Paul or our country is done.

marinelife's avatar

@seVen Sorry, that seems a little off topic.

thegodfather's avatar

No, I’ve never known anyone to change their mind about whom to vote for because of a debate. But I have known many people who increase in their angst over the personality or beliefs or managerial style of the candidate they’re already opposed to.

Debates also come relatively late in the campaign season. While there are a great many Americans that say they haven’t yet made up their minds, I do think there’s at least a known bias in their minds; in other words, they know they are prone to vote Democrat/Republican long before the debates happen. And so it may nail in the coffin on their propensity to vote a certain way. But this is just from my own personal observation; I’m not all that sure how much that would hold up in, say, a study or random sample of voters. I know for me, I decided about six months ago that I would not vote for McCain or Obama or Paul. This election is just a big bummer for me, personally. I wonder how many fellow citizens feel the same. In this situation, I don’t really feel like watching more of the same that’s been going on now for over a year and a half since these candidates threw their hats into the ring.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I found out about Ron Paul, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel through the primary debates. I watched almost all of them. I couldnt agree with you more, Marina, that the debates seem scripted. I think 99% of what happens in the media is scripted.

These debates are kind of late in the season, but the primary debates are the real important ones, which were earlier than ever this year. Those are the debates where you hear who is really for change, not just the slogan the media throws in your face after they have their “status quo” candidates.

Ask the average person to name some candidates besides Hillary, Obama, and McCain and see how much people pay attention to this stuff. As a 25 year old, it scares the hell out of me and makes me think even more that there has been a coup in the US since at least President Ford.

Let’s face it, people think they only have 2 choices and that they vote for the lesser of the 2 evils. How long has this kind of thinking been going on? If this was a real democracy and we were really free, where was Nader, McKinney, Barr, Baldwin, and any other “3rd party ” candidates during the “debate?” You bet ur butt, Marina, that had those candidates been giving the chance to debate, that the script woulda been thrown right out the window.

My opinion is that more people need to watch the primary debates where you actually have many choices, rather than waiting til now, when most minds are made up. Until that happens, the media will be giving us our 2 choices and then well keep ending up in the position we are in now.

marinelife's avatar

@chris I am GAing your answer, because I think you bring up a good point about the primary debates.

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