Thursday, October 11, 2012

Ryan-Biden Vice Presidential Debate

Thursday night the one and only debate was held between the two candidates running for vice president. Incumbent Joe Biden debated challenger Paul Ryan. Frankly, if I were not a political junkie, I may have been strongly tempted to switch to something else. This debate was rather a hot mess.

Before the debate, an article ran that was from the Pew Research Center which proclaimed there would be no clear winner in the debate. In the article, the point was made that though voters are rather equally mixed on the like/don't like Paul Ryan question, Vice President Biden has low favorable numbers.
The national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Oct. 4-7 among 1,511 adults, including 1,201 registered voters, finds that 39% of voters view Biden favorably, while 51% offer an unfavorable impression of the vice president. Just more than four-in-ten (44%) view Ryan favorably, while about as many (40%) have an unfavorable view. A separate survey, also conducted Oct. 4-7, among 1,006 adults and 812 registered voters, finds that voters are divided over who will do better in Thursday’s vice presidential debate. Four-in-ten (40%) say Ryan will do a better job while 34% expect Biden to do better.
The current survey finds that just 35% of independent voters have a favorable opinion of Biden, while 52% view him unfavorably. As many independent voters view Ryan favorably (42%) as unfavorably (42%).
The independent voter being the crucial ones to win over at this point in the campaign process, Biden's low approval is a worrisome thing for Team Obama. He did himself no favors with his odd personal comportment. He smirked, laughed and snarled his way through the debate. He showed contempt and disrespect for Paul Ryan. He looked condescending and arrogant, to say the least.

Women voters, in particular, will not approve of this behavior. Women raise their children to be respectful human beings, even in the face of a disagreement. Rude children are punished. Biden may well be punished by poll numbers from disapproving viewers.

Biden is thought to be a foreign policy expert by the Democrats and that is why Barack Obama chose him in 2008.  During the foreign policy portion of the debate, Biden conveniently denied voting for the Iraq war and the Afghanistan war, too. He shrugged off Iran's capability of completing a nuclear weapon and he accused the Romney-Ryan ticket of desiring another war.  He also denied that the White House knew that the American consulate in Libya requested more security in Benghazi before the terrorist attacks.

Paul Ryan was in his element on the budget issues, despite constant interruptions from Biden and little help from the moderator.  Martha Raddatz, ABC Senior foreign affairs correspondent, was the moderator and while clearly a supporter of Biden's, she did a better job than I thought she would.  Maybe that is not saying a lot, but she did have to overcome some pre-debate publicity that Barack Obama was a wedding guest to her marriage to one of her ex-husbands.  So, there was that.

Some quick after debate polling shows mixed results: CNBC had Ryan the clear winner:
According to a tweet from CNBC's verified Twitter account, an after-debate poll shows Ryan crushing Biden 56 - 36%
And, AP shows Ryan the clear winner:
According to Twitter the Associated Press also has Ryan winning tonight by a spread of 51-43.
br /> An online poll by CBS had Biden the winner:
Of the 431 polled immediately following the debate, 31 percent deemed Ryan the winner, and 19 percent said they felt it was a tie. Party-wise it's a switch from last week's presidential debate, which uncommitted voters handed easily to Romney over President Obama.


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