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I don't mean to dismiss the content of their responses entirely - just to note that it was often secondary.  At 5.00 am in the morning here I didn't feel like writing a long and detailed diary parsing their exact words and phrases when most people who were interested would have watched the debate or read some of the MSM commentary in any case.

But I agree - Obama was once again the more coherent and powerful orator, demonstrated good empathy with his audience, and generally managed to convey a clear sense of what his approach or priorities to a problem would be.  

I take it for granted that most people here have some sense of their differences of policy and approach.  But what Obama is doing here is winning over undecideds who do not have a clear sense of policy or politics.  He is winning them over by his presence, calmness, rationality, and obvious intelligence - so that thy will feel more confident that -whatever the problem - he is best equipped to tackle it.

Every time the American people see him, Obama's favourables rise and his unfavourables decline.  Barring a major mistake (or a major terrorist event on US soil) it is difficult now to see why anyone would switch back to McCain.  There may be many who for reasons of racism, extreme conservatism, or evangelical fervour, will never vote for Obama.  But he has been chipping away at the fringes of that base and, once they have made the switch, it is difficult to see how they would ever go back to McCain.

I would expect Obama's numbers to continue on their slow upward trajectory with his lead gradually rising to double figures.  West Virginia, Georgia, and perhaps even Texas may come into play.  It won't necessarily be a blow-out, but it is becoming a very difficult election to steal.

Vote McCain for war without gain

by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Wed Oct 8th, 2008 at 08:08:54 AM EST
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