Political scientists say presidential debates have rarely, if ever, mattered

April 2024 Forums General discussion Political scientists say presidential debates have rarely, if ever, mattered

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  • #81578
    jondwhite
    Participant

    While political pundits love to impart great meaning and importance to these events, political scientists aren't so convinced. As John Sides, a political scientist at George Washington University, wrote recently in Washington Monthly:

    "Scholars who have looked most carefully at the data have found that, when it comes to shifting enough votes to decide the outcome of the election, presidential debates have rarely, if ever, mattered … in the average election year, you can accurately predict where the race will stand after the debates by knowing the state of the race before the debates."

    The presidential debate myth: not the 'game-changer' you might think

    #90026
    ALB
    Keymaster

    As it happens the big expert in Britain on televised election debates is a former Socialist Party member, Steve Coleman. Here he is on the 3-way debate at the last UK general election:http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00ymx1pNote that, while his findings might be interesting, he fails to make the point that what's wrong with these debates is that they are between rival leaders seeking a following.

    #90027
    jondwhite
    Participant

    I just watchedhttp://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/9403559.stmand it sounds like debates are;good for TV,good for turnout,but unproven for changing minds that are already made up.I also noticed in America thathttp://freeandequal.org/are hosting presidential debates with third-party candidates on October 23. Looking forward to that.

    #90028
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Maybe no-holds barred debate as entertainment is the most useful form of debate? Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly debated satirical news presenter of Comedy Central's the Daily Show – Jon Stewart last night. Here is the videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5ESZOFwm9A

    #90029
    HollyHead
    Participant
    jondwhite wrote:
    Maybe no-holds barred debate as entertainment is the most useful form of debate? Fox News pundit Bill O'Reilly debated satirical news presenter of Comedy Central's the Daily Show – Jon Stewart last night. Here is the videohttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5ESZOFwm9A

     I'm afraid our experience in challenging others to debate — both as individuals and as organizations — is more often negative than positive. They almost invariably decline or — worse still — pull out at the last moment.There are exceptions of course and some of them appear in the Audio / Visual section above. I believe more are in the process of being added so keep your eyes peeled.

    #90030
    Ed
    Participant

    Of our recent debates the one I thought would go the worst actually went the best. I really enjoyed the positive money debate. Whereas the zeitgeist one was fairly embarrassing and the CPGB one was just a very strange atmosphere, but I think a lot of that was down to them.

    #90031
    jondwhite
    Participant

    The CPGB fringe might have seemed strange to some if it was interpreted as a debate since it was actually a single-issue single-speaker talk.

    #90032
    jondwhite
    Participant

    Can the presidential debates turn the US election? | Hadley … Third Party Presidential Debate Moderated by Larry King – YouTube

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