Kerry, Bush prepare for final debate in Tempe, Arizona

13 years ago Comments Off on Kerry, Bush prepare for final debate in Tempe, Arizona

The music group Styx wrote a song that said “…the jigg is up, the news is out, they finally found me…” In comparison with the debates there is a song probably being sung by both parties that goes something like this “…it’s looking up, the polls are out, we’re finally winning…” (I have never seen any reason to leave out humor.) Although both presidential candidates would like to think of themselves as the next president and are most likely residing in the fact that the polls are telling the truth and they are winning, the question, however, is what poll are they watching?

After Friday’s second debate that had both candidates answering questions from the audience, the polls are out claiming that each candidate has a small, but not insignificant, lead over their opponent. The Reuters/Zogby poll shows that Sen. John Kerry has a lead over President George Bush by three percent (47-44). On the other hand, the ABC Washington Post poll shows Bush over Kerry at 51-46%. Nevertheless, both Bush and Kerry are surely looking to this Wednesday’s debate with optimism.

Tomorrow’s debate, which will be the final debate, is being held at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona. The first debate focused on foreign policy and homeland security in which 72 of its 90 minutes were focused solely on the war in Iraq. News sources and polls pointed out that Bush had definitely faltered in the first debate and that

Kerry accelerated with a five-point shift. Mike Yawn, political science professor at Sam Houston State University, noted that “Kerry looked more presidential”, and that “the first debate is the most significant.” Yawn also mentioned that Bush apparently went into the debate with more support than realized, which was beneficial for the Republican Party.

Many considered the second debate a “draw” which nonetheless was a small victory for Bush. Yawn explained, “Cheney did well in the vice-presidential debate and combined with Bush’s performance, it stopped the momentum in the Kerry campaign.”

MSNBC.com took a survey that asked how the third debate would have an effect on their voting and out of a little over 44,000 people, 17% said that it would. Some may not see this as a startling percentage, but it comes out to almost 7500 voters. This number could have changed the outcome of the 2000 election. Still most consider the third debate the least effective and the least likely to change the minds of voters.

In contrast, pollster John Zogby, who also spoke to MSNBC said, “Wednesday’s debate is vital because many sub-groups remain close and because so many independents have yet to make up their minds.” Reuters/Zogby found that 6% of citizens who are likely to vote are undecided and that 16% who identify themselves as independent are also undecided.

Some people view the polls like chickens before they hatch. However, don’t count the voters until they have voted and don’t wait till Nov. 3 to vote.