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Five Myths about the Leaders’ Debates

Posted by jpammett under All, Election 2011, Election 2011 Campaign strategy, Election 2011 Faculty links, Election 2011 Media commentary

Jon Pammett
  1. MYTH It is a pivotal moment in the campaign.

REALITY. There are no pivotal moments in most campaigns.

2.  MYTH It is the time in the campaign when people start paying attention.

REALITY   People who watch the debates are more likely to be people who are interested in politics in the first place.

3.    MYTH  Leaders in the debates are vulnerable to making a big mistake.

REALITY  All the leaders usually do pretty well in the debates, because they are so well prepared, and the questions are so predictable.

4,  MYTH  Leaders in the debates are trying to get voters to switch over to them.

REALITY  The debates are all about reinforcement, where the idea is not to deter people from voting for their party or candidate if they are otherwise inclined to do so.

5. MYTH  Debates have a big impact on the election result.

REALITY  The debates have very little impact on the election result.