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A Couple More Post-debate Thoughts

Chris has pointed out some of the post-debate polling. The number that most struck me, less from a political point of view than a historic one, is the question of which candidate seemed more intelligent: 57% said Obama, 25% said McCain. No kidding, you say. Except that Obama is black. I think it says something pretty amazing about the country that such a wide majority would deem the black candidate more intelligent than the white candidate.

Amy Sullivan attended a focus group in Colorado that went nuts for Obama:

Even more dramatic was the shift in the voters’ personal reactions to the two candidates. Before the debate, McCain had a 48/46 favorability rating; that improved to 56/36 by the end. But that’s about where Obama started the evening—54/36. After an hour and a half, Obama’s favorability numbers were 80/14. As Joe Biden would say, let me repeat that: 80% of the undecided voters had favorable views of Obama and only 14% saw him negatively for a net rating of +66.

Nearly all the reporting describe the debate as a draw. (See here, here, and here among many other examples.) Is this just something reporters have to say to appear objective?

--Jonathan Chait