Oftentimes when we who write about politics talk about the debates, we evaluate how well a candidate has done based upon our expectations of his performance.
To that end, campaigns tend to talk down their candidates debating skills while praising their opponent as well-versed in this arena. Â This way, after the encounter, they can note how their guy exceeded expectations.
Well, pundits and bloggers may be judging the candidates by how well they meet such “expectations,” but most voters, particularly those still undecided, will evaluate them with their own eyes, what they see tonight. Â And not what the pundits or campaigns expect of the candidates.
(I expect to have more to say about the debate, particularly addressing the question of McCain’s “blinking,” later in the day.)
UPDATE: Â The Jewish Athena offers an assessment similar to my own: Â “Why is this all silly? No real voters care about this. They watch the debate and decide who did better.” Â Read the whole thing.