13 October 2015

Who won the debate?

I watched the Democratic Primary debate on CNN tonight.  It was interesting.  I liked Bernie Sanders's presentation, his style of speaking, and his tendency to give thoughtful answers.  He did very well.  Given Mr. Sanders's views on abortion and his utopian ideas about the power and funding of the federal government, I can't support Mr. Sanders's political positions, but as a character I liked him far better than the smug Mrs. Clinton or the filler candidates who surrounded them.

Unfortunately, regardless of anyone's performance at the debate, the headlines following will have a greater impact on public opinion.  I'm sure that the average person who watched the debate, left or right, would say that Sanders outperformed everyone else.  But immediately after it ended, CNN's website was broadcasting the headline "CLINTON'S CONFIDENT SWEEP".  The New York Times announces "Clinton Turns Up Heat on Sanders in a Sharp Debate".  I did not witness any "heat" being "turned up" on Bernie Sanders.  He came off very well, sincere, and focused on the issues.  Hilary was fixated on herself and seemed to spend half the time preening her credentials. The Huffington Post is even worse: "CLINTON LEANS IN". On the other hand, MSNBC is more balanced: "RIVALS THROW ELBOWS" with a picture of Sanders and Clinton.

Going over to the other end of the spectrum, the Drudge Report reader poll currently has Sanders as having won the debate, with a 63% majority.  A similar poll on TIME's website has Sanders winning by 74%.  63% again on Slate.  These numbers are unscientific, and mean relatively little.  But still...