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  U.S. Presidential Election Results (Moderator: Torie)
  Is the impact of the 1980 Debate overrated
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Author Topic: Is the impact of the 1980 Debate overrated  (Read 278 times)
Old School Republican
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« on: March 02, 2019, 01:23:58 am »

Yah Reagan won it but I rewatched it recently and while Reagan obviously clearly won it was nowhere near the rout in pure terms that Clinton-Bush Town Hall Debate was in 1992, the First Bush-Kerry and First Obama-Romney Debates where Bush Sr, Bush Jr, Obama totally got routed in every way and they basically folded after the first half of the debate.

Yes the polls turned what was a close Reagan win into a landslide win but I think that was more of that the voters wanted to find any reason to turn Carter out and Reagan clearing up any doubts they had in that debate gave them that reason. Even without the debate, I think Reagan still wins by 7 points nationally as the Iran News at the end would have given them the reason to vote Carter out . Carter really just had no chance of coming within 5 points in 1980 without an epic fail type of campaign waged by the GOP Nominee.

The 1980 Election was not as unconventional as people think it was: An unpopular President in bad  economic times at home and bad times as well overseas loses to the charismatic former two term governor of the Largest state in the Union who was the runner up to the party nomination in the previous cycle.

Most of the times the losing party uses the whole Reagan was trailing till the debate myth(and he really even wasnt in the average polls) to mainly give hope to their base that they still have a great chance of winning an election. GOP used it a lot in 2012 and Democrats used it a lot in 2004 as well
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morgankingsley
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« Reply #1 on: March 02, 2019, 03:52:27 pm »

I did the math and if Reagan won by 7 he still wins 426 to 112. While Carter more than doubled what he gets and has far from the worst night for a Democrat, he still makes no real difference in the polls. So I guess your overall point is still true if you are correct.
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North Fulton Democrat
mollybecky
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« Reply #2 on: March 02, 2019, 11:47:11 pm »

The debate probably added a couple of points to the final margin, but the perceived negativity of the October Surprise (that is, no solution to the hostage crisis in Iran) was probably more contributory to the final margin.  This turned a reasonably comfortable victory into a rout for Reagan.  The events of that last week meant the loss of several states (including New York, Massachusetts, and many in the South)--which Carter lost by slim margins. 

Carter was in serious trouble from the start of the general election campaign--with states like Texas and Florida (which he had won in 1976) pretty much out of his reach by early October.  And there were very few (if any) states that he could pick up by that point.

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Old School Republican
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« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2019, 09:13:22 pm »

The debate probably added a couple of points to the final margin, but the perceived negativity of the October Surprise (that is, no solution to the hostage crisis in Iran) was probably more contributory to the final margin.  This turned a reasonably comfortable victory into a rout for Reagan.  The events of that last week meant the loss of several states (including New York, Massachusetts, and many in the South)--which Carter lost by slim margins. 

Carter was in serious trouble from the start of the general election campaign--with states like Texas and Florida (which he had won in 1976) pretty much out of his reach by early October.  And there were very few (if any) states that he could pick up by that point.



Well in a neutral election I would say Reagan would still pick up Texas and Florida but lose Michigan and Connecticut .
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Mondale
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« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2019, 12:04:50 am »

All political debates are useless and nobody wins/loses from a debate
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Old School Republican
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« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2019, 12:06:43 am »

All political debates are useless and nobody wins/loses from a debate

JFK wouldnt have won without the debate as the fundamentals that year clearly favored Nixon
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Mondale
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« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2019, 12:18:27 am »

All political debates are useless and nobody wins/loses from a debate

JFK wouldnt have won without the debate as the fundamentals that year clearly favored Nixon

It made no difference.

Quote
Presidential Debates Rarely Have Much Effect on Election Outcomes

From Al Gore’s loud sighing to Jimmy Carter saying he consulted his 12-year-old daughter on nuclear proliferation, presidential debates are full of memorable moments. But despite the fanfare that surrounds each election cycle’s televised events, historical data shows the debates are rarely game changers.

“There are a handful of cases in which a debate had a notable effect on the polls,” political scientist John Sides says. “But most debates don’t produce that kind of shift.”

A 2008 Gallup study found that between 1960 and 2004, there were only two years where debates made a difference in actual votes. Instead, the most common outcome of the presidential debates is a slight popularity bump. But that bump doesn’t necessarily translate into votes.

“They sometimes have a short-term effect, a bounce in response to the debates, but at the end of the day there often is not much of an effect,” says Robert Erikson, author of The Timeline of Presidential Elections.

Data from the Gallup study also saw no direct correlation between the winner of each debate and the winner of the presidency. The 2004 Kerry vs. Bush debate was cited as an example. Kerry was considered the victor of all three showdowns, but still lost the election.

There are numerous factors responsible for the disparity between who “wins” the debates and who wins the election. Political scientists say one of the biggest reasons is that those who are watching the debates already have their minds made up.

“By [debate] time voters have pretty much picked their candidates,” says Erikson. “Some are undecided, but they are probably not paying attention…People who are political and have a party affiliation are hard to dislodge by the debates. And those rooting for their favorite candidate, even if he is doing poorly, aren’t necessarily going to change their mind.”

Even if a large number of open-minded, undecided voters watch the debates, history shows that the events are typically lackluster and therefore unlikely to influence a person’s interpretation of a candidate.

“Usually the candidates fight to a draw. They are well prepared and the format of the debates gives them equal time,” Sides says. “So it’s hard in that context to have a stunning victory or a terrible defeat.”

https://www.thedailybeast.com/presidential-debates-rarely-have-much-effect-on-election-outcomes



Voters just dont care about this kind of stuff.
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dw93
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« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2019, 12:25:07 am »

All political debates are useless and nobody wins/loses from a debate

JFK wouldnt have won without the debate as the fundamentals that year clearly favored Nixon

Don't forget Al Gore sighing in the 2000 Debate and John Kerry winning all the debates in 2004. Anyway, I kind of think it is overrated. Sure it might've swung some undecideds Reagan's way, but on the whole, Reagan still would've won, although a few of the closer Reagan states might've gone Carter's way. As someone else pointed out, the October Surprise and the fact that the election, IIRC, fell on or close to the one year anniversary of the Hostage Crisis damaged Carter and in my opinion so did Ted Kennedy's primary challenge. I imagine a chunk of Anderson's support came from Kennedy supporters.
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President Johnson
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« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2019, 02:55:52 pm »

I think it isn't much overrated. I have to admit that Reagan did extremely well (the 2020 Democrat should perform like this). I always felt that his closing statement ("are you better off than you were four years ago?") has the final nail in Carter's reelection coffin. Even if I didn't know the outcome, I would have said "that's it, Carter is done."

Reagan was much weaker in his 1984 debates, probably due to early stages of Alzheimer.
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Old School Republican
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« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2019, 04:14:08 pm »

I think it isn't much overrated. I have to admit that Reagan did extremely well (the 2020 Democrat should perform like this). I always felt that his closing statement ("are you better off than you were four years ago?") has the final nail in Carter's reelection coffin. Even if I didn't know the outcome, I would have said "that's it, Carter is done."

Reagan was much weaker in his 1984 debates, probably due to early stages of Alzheimer.

Reagan won that debate hands down but still it didn’t feel like a rout that Bush-Kerry first debate and Obama-Romney first debates were . In Those debates There didn’t seem like a single point where Bush and Obama won an exchange and half way in it felt like both of them just gave up . Carter I beleive got Reagan on one exchange when he pointed our the real Reagan signed tax increases into law as Governor .

What that debate did was ease some doubts that people had about Reagan being a warmonger type cowboy and once that happened Carter was done as that was all he really had left by that stage .


Yah your right Reagan himself said the are you better of than you were 4 years ago was his best line of the debate  not the there you again like like people think .


On the 1984 debates I think it was cause it’s much harder to debate when your the incumbent then challenger since you have to be more on the defensive while as challenger you don’t need to do that . The same thing happened to  Carter , Bush , and Obama where they all lost  the set of debates when they were the incumbents and even Clinton debate performance was worse in 96 than in 92
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Arbitrage1980
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« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2019, 05:12:12 pm »

They didn't have detailed state-by-state polling back then, but I wonder how much Reagan outperformed polling by, with respect to his electoral college votes. He won 10 states by margins of less than 3%, including 7 Southern states.
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Old School Republican
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« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2019, 07:24:01 pm »

They didn't have detailed state-by-state polling back then, but I wonder how much Reagan outperformed polling by, with respect to his electoral college votes. He won 10 states by margins of less than 3%, including 7 Southern states.

Carter actually held the electoral college advantage that year in the sense that if the popular vote was tied he would have won
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Mondale
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« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2019, 09:53:27 pm »

They didn't have detailed state-by-state polling back then, but I wonder how much Reagan outperformed polling by, with respect to his electoral college votes. He won 10 states by margins of less than 3%, including 7 Southern states.

Reagan was already closing the gap going into Jan 1980 from 1979 and even leading Kennedy in hypotheticals

Img


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It makes for a far interesting narrative to write that 1980 was coming down to the wire until Reagan knocked it out of the debate that apparently every voter who voted in 1980 watched and they all came to the same conclusion simultaneously.

Carter was never gonna win. The new deal coalition was in the toilet and the economy sucked
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Old School Republican
Computer89
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« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2019, 10:11:55 pm »

They didn't have detailed state-by-state polling back then, but I wonder how much Reagan outperformed polling by, with respect to his electoral college votes. He won 10 states by margins of less than 3%, including 7 Southern states.

Reagan was already closing the gap going into Jan 1980 from 1979 and even leading Kennedy in hypotheticals

Img


Img


It makes for a far interesting narrative to write that 1980 was coming down to the wire until Reagan knocked it out of the debate that apparently every voter who voted in 1980 watched and they all came to the same conclusion simultaneously.

Carter was never gonna win. The new deal coalition was in the toilet and the economy sucked

Yah Reagan led in average polls from May onwards (though January of 1980 was his low point) and was considered the favorite by betters: http://archives.nbclearn.com/portal/site/k-12/flatview?cuecard=3252

Quote
In London, where you can already make a legal wager on the outcome of the American election in November, the odds-makers have installed their favorite. It’s Ronald Reagan, over either Kennedy or Carter


I think reason people attribute to debate is polls showed Reagan was going to win by 3-4 points but he won by 10 instead.


Though in the summer of 1980 they wrote articles like this: https://larouchepub.com/eiw/public/1980/eirv07n27-19800715/eirv07n27-19800715_048-will_jimmy_carter_destroy_the_de.pdf


and said things like this

Quote
The EIR also found that a Carter ticket will spell
disaster for Democratic congressional candidates. A
leading Democratic Party Capitol Hill source conceded
that with Carter heading the ticket, the Democrats expect
to lose more than 50 House seats. This and other sources
say that the GOP will, minimally, come close to overturning the Democratic majority in the Senate. If Carter is
the nominee in 1980, the Democratic leadership says that
a GOP majority in both houses of Congress is possible
by the 1982 elections, for the first time since the 1950s.


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