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Trump and Biden's Debates will be Good Theater but Not Much More
By: The Hutchinson Report
Political analyst Earl Ofari Hutchinson contends Trump and Biden's presidential debates will be good theater but not much more. Hutchinson notes that that will be the case not because Trump and Biden have nothing to say, or that the issues aren't colossal, and how they'd deal with them aren't widely different. But the cold truth is that numerous polls and surveys before and after past presidential debates have confirmed that they don't change voter preferences. In 2016, most experts said that Hillary Clinton performed far better than Trump in her answers and approach on the major policy issues. But she still lost the White House. This go round House Speaker Nancy Pelosi thought so little of Biden even bothering to debate Trump that she has repeatedly called for him to scrap debates, since as she put it he's such a liar that it's impossible to get anything productive out of a debate.
Hutchinson notes that in 2008 candidate Obama and then in 2016 President Obama won and lost in some debate rounds to first John McCain and then Mitt Romney. However, Obama's favorables were already high with a wide cross section of voters. So, even his occasional stumbles on camera during the debates, didn't damage him. Then there's the polarization in American politics. It is so wide and deep that even those voters who truly have not made up their minds before the debates and can be influenced by a debate performance have dwindled to almost nothing.
Biden or Trump will win the White House if voters really feel that one can better handle the country's economic and domestic mess than the other. That won't come from a presidential debate. Still, Trump and Biden will if nothing else be a good show.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He is the author of the forthcoming Why the Electoral College Not You Elects Presidents (Amazon Kindle. He is a weekly co-host of the Al Sharpton Show on Radio One. He is the host of the weekly Hutchinson Report on KPFK 90.7 FM Los Angeles and the Pacifica Network.
Earl Ofari Hutchinson