Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Gross Observations on the CNN “Uncommitted Crawl”

For tonight’s presidential debate I decided to break with the past and watch it on CNN. That way I can observe the “uncommitted crawl” that they feature. Tonight CNN featured a real time metering of positive or negative feelings that Ohio uncommitted voters had on the statements and answers from our two candidates.

Why not look at this before? I am with my liberal activist colleagues here. Who cares what an uncommitted Ohio voter thinks? What the heck, if you are uncommitted at this point in the game what business do you have voting in this election? The choices cannot be clearer. They are crystal clear. As clear as ever presented to American voters in decades.

But that is precisely what lured me to CNN. I had to have a look. I had to see what these uncommitted voters are going through.

It was instructive.

First, it taught me that men are wildly emotional, and women are very conservative in issuing a swing in sentiment. More often than not men were either wildly supportive of a candidate’s position, or more negatively supportive. With some exceptions, women varied only slightly.

Doesn’t that run up against conventional wisdom?

So much for conventional wisdom.

Second it taught me that when McCain lies, and he knows when he is lying, uncommitted voters know he is lying as well, and either went neutral over his commentary period, or went slightly negative.

Both sexes.

Third, it taught me that when Obama was delivering positive points it gave him high positive marks. When McCain delivered positive points, it gave him mediocre positive marks.

In my gross, and fairly reasonably unbiased (if that is even possible here) rating, Obama’s positives out did McCain’s.

In other words, uncommitted voters responded more positively to Obama’s positives, and responded neutrally or even negatively, when McCain went on the attack in his “lying mode.” That is, whenever John McCain adopted the Republican line of “The Big Lie,” that is, lie often and lie well, uncommitted voters were unresponsive.

They didn’t buy it.

Signaling, I think, a corner turn. Americans have turned the corner on their reception of whoppers. Americans are willing to listen to a narrative rather than a lie.

Maybe, just maybe, Americans, through our impossibly uncommitted numbers, are finally growing up.


dembones said...

Hal! Fix the typo: Osama? Say it ain't so.

Hal said...

It ain't so.

Thanks for spotting it.