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PUBLIC OPINION > The Presidential Debates Didn't Change Much

SodaHead Politics 2012/10/25 20:00:00
A lot was made of this year's presidential debates. They set Twitter records, TV viewership records, and even spawned a couple of memes. But we want to know if the debates actually helped people pick the right candidate, or if it just served as a way for the public to reaffirm what they already thought.

sodahead debates

For all the hype that surrounded the debates, they don't seem to have had much of an impact. Only 17% of the nearly 1,500 people who voted said the debates helped them pick a candidate. The rest said they already knew who they were picking (76%) or they didn't get the information they needed (7%). But there was still a noticeable difference in how some demographics voted.

More Helpful for Moderates

Moderates did find the debates a little more helpful than liberals and conservatives, but even they were hard-pressed to find any value. One in five moderates said the debates helped, compared to one in 10 partisan voters. We were surprised to find that even moderates were very likely to say they already knew who they were voting for at the outset, as opposed to saying they didn't get the information they needed.

Big Budgets Don't Budge

Voters making more than $100,000 a year were much less likely to have been influenced by the debate. Only 3% said the debates helped them pick a candidate. Incidentally, the next highest income bracket ($75,000 - $100,000) was most likely to be influenced. Full-time workers were also more likely to be impacted by the debates, while the unemployed were not.

Under the Influence

Wouldn't you know it, drinkers were more likely to be influenced by the debates. (Sorry, the pun pretty much wrote itself.) Smokers and drinkers often vote similarly, but not this time. Only drinkers were more likely to be influenced. Maybe there was a little bit of drinking going on during the debates? We wouldn't blame you. Those debate-themed drinking games are awfully tempting.

If you'd like to vote on this question, dig deeper into the demographics, or engage in existing discussion about the topic, visit Shepard Smith's poll about the presidential debates. We'd love to hear from you!
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Top Opinion

  • eddie 2012/10/25 21:27:22
    eddie
    +10
    you will never change lambs...they will only follow to their own death....I am scared for this country with this idiot president....

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  • Cher 2012/11/14 17:14:33
    Cher
    I had already made-up my mind during the debates truth be told I wouldn't vote for Barry if he himself held a gun to my head. My belief, not yours, and I respect that.
  • rbeas 2012/11/12 19:02:24
    rbeas
    they rarely do all they do is reaffirm the lies they tell in the commercials
  • ggm1957 2012/11/02 11:54:27
    ggm1957
    There was a statement that someone made saying that "watching the debates to figure out who to vote for was like watching the Superbowl to figure out who to root for."
  • Denai~*~Game of Thrones Fan 2012/11/02 05:59:26
    Denai~*~Game of Thrones Fan
    The debates bored me to tears. They had zero influence on me.
  • anita.cavilla 2012/10/30 18:41:22
    anita.cavilla
    and I wouldn't vote for Romney not even for $4millions
  • mimi 2012/10/30 16:58:54
    mimi
    +1
    The debates just proved to me that I had selected the right candidate to vote for and that is Romney. I wouldn't vote for Obama if someone paid me $1M!!
  • exhon2009 2012/10/30 02:21:35
    exhon2009
    The debates made a HUGE difference. Obama spent upwards of 300 Million painting Romney as the devil. The debates, particularly the first one, destroyed that advertising investment and Romney has been riding a surge ever since.
  • ShaunTheMon 2012/10/30 01:19:18
    ShaunTheMon
    +3
    Okay, the only thing you should watch when you decide whether to vote for Obama or not, is his and his family’s personal habits since he has taken office. Personal habits reflect choices and decision making abilities. We know very little about him before he took office, as most of this has been hidden from public view. Facts that we know since Obama has taken office:
    We are in the worst financial Crisis of our Nation’s history. He has talked about shared sacrifice many times; about people doing and paying their FAIR SHARE. However, when it comes to his and his Wife’s spending habits on our dime, the opposite is true.
    Fact 1 – Michelle Obama has more personal staff than any first lade before her. Michelle Obama’s staff has been called the Million Dollar Staff. Unfortunately, that is not true. Just the direct salaries of the reported staff total more than $1.3 Million dollars. Now we have to add in benefits, phones, iPads, computers, offices, travel office supplies… etc. A much more accurate estimate is just over $2 Million per year. That’s $2 Million of your tax dollars, despite the fact that Michelle Obama has no official duties.

    Fact 2 – Michelle Obama has made the, now famous, statement for the first time in 42 years, she was now proud of her country. In other words, at o...





















    Okay, the only thing you should watch when you decide whether to vote for Obama or not, is his and his family’s personal habits since he has taken office. Personal habits reflect choices and decision making abilities. We know very little about him before he took office, as most of this has been hidden from public view. Facts that we know since Obama has taken office:
    We are in the worst financial Crisis of our Nation’s history. He has talked about shared sacrifice many times; about people doing and paying their FAIR SHARE. However, when it comes to his and his Wife’s spending habits on our dime, the opposite is true.
    Fact 1 – Michelle Obama has more personal staff than any first lade before her. Michelle Obama’s staff has been called the Million Dollar Staff. Unfortunately, that is not true. Just the direct salaries of the reported staff total more than $1.3 Million dollars. Now we have to add in benefits, phones, iPads, computers, offices, travel office supplies… etc. A much more accurate estimate is just over $2 Million per year. That’s $2 Million of your tax dollars, despite the fact that Michelle Obama has no official duties.

    Fact 2 – Michelle Obama has made the, now famous, statement for the first time in 42 years, she was now proud of her country. In other words, at one part of this nation owned slaves and this country HAS NEVER FOGGEN IT RIGHT ENOUGH FOR HER, UNTIL WE ELECTED A BLACK PRESIDENT. I guess the 360,000 dead and the 275,000 wound UNION SOLDIERS in the Civil War to free black people wasn’t enough. When we saved the World in WWII, I guess the 405,000 Dead and 670,000 wounded wasn’t enough for her. I could go on but I think you see my point.

    Fact 3 – She mouthed the words “ALL THIS FOR A DAMNED FLAG” to her husband, which shows, she has no respect for her own country, the same country that gave her the FREEDOM and the opportunity to become First lady.

    Fact 4 – Both of Obama’s Daughters have been listed as SENIOR STAFFERS in various White House documents, despite the fact that neither is old enough to legally work. The oldest girl is currently 14, and the youngest 11. Being listed as Senior Staffers allows the Obamas to write-off expenses related to their daughters to the American taxpayers.

    Fact 5 – While the country reels Financially, the Obamas have managed 16 vacations. I’m not saying he doesn’t have a stressful job, because he does. It is an especially stressful time in our great nation, but we all feel it. How many of us have taken over 4 vacations a year? And lavish vacations, at that. When you throw in the security and other costs of these vacations, in a time when we are borrowing 40 cents of every dollar we spend it shows a total disregard for the future generations of Americans. Now, people will argue that Bush took more vacation days and they are correct; he did. However, when you look at cost, Bush spent far less because he always went home to his Ranch. I don’t expect the president of the Greatest Country in the History of the World to live like a pauper, but a little consideration for future generations, given the current state of affairs in this country, would be nice.

    Fact 6 – In addition to lavish vacations, Obama has played over 100 rounds of Golf. All this, at a time when the country desperately needs a president focused on creating jobs in a global economy not a president who plays a lot of golf.

    Fact 7 – We, as a country, have not produced a budget in four years. The president formed a commission named Simpson-Boyles. However, when the BI-PARTISAN commission was finished, Obama dismissed their findings and did not act on it. He has decided that there is no need for a budget despite the fact that we borrow 40% of every dollar we spend.

    Fact 8 – He submitted a budget this year to congress and it was so bad, the Senate voted it down 99-0. Yes, you heard correct. Despite his own party holding a majority in the senate, NOT ONE Democrat would vote for it.

    Fact 9 – Most people think that we owe most of our national debt to China, which is not true. China has been scaling back their US Treasury holding for several years. Roughly two-thirds of our national debt has been borrowed from Social Security or is held by the Federal Reserve. The Fed has increased their leverage tremendously to accommodate Obama’s deficit spending. Current estimates put the Federal Reserve leverage at Fifty to one. That means, the Federal Reserve investments lose over 2%, the Fed is BANKRUPT.

    Fact 10 – Obama rules by Executive order. He has no respect for the Rule of Law that we all live under. Nor does he have any respect for use for the other two branches of Government. He has decided that he can’t get exactly what he wants, so he will just issue executive orders and defend the lawsuits that will come. While I never was, and still am not a fan of Bill Clinton, he understood the art of the deal. He understood how to get peple together and accomplish things. Obama has shown, through his own actions, that he feels, he alone, has the right to speak for All Americans, with no checks and balances.

    Fact 11 – Almost everything Obama ran on in 2008, was either never accomplished or the opposite was achieved. You can find many videos on YouTube showcasing his promises.

    Given these facts, and they are facts, it is logical to infer that the Obamas are elitists, behaving that they are above all the laws and principles most of us believe and live by. No matter what your station in life, who you are, or where you have been, the only thing important to the Obamas, is what you can do for them. When you no longer have anything to offer them, they will discard you like the trash they feel you are. Only three types of people will vote for Obama this time around. These are dishonest people, who have something to gain that most people don’t have access to, uninformed and stubborn biased people, and people with their head stuck in the sand. If you are the dishonest one, how do you sleep at night, knowing he is leading us into Financial ruin? Uninformed and Stubborn Biased people won’t even listen, so I won’t address you folks. But if your head is in the sand, please look around you. Don’t just take my word for it, research on your own. Please vote this man out of office it is the only chance this great country has, we have spent ourselves to the brink of disaster. If we had to borrow on the world market, rather than create funny money, we would really be in disaster. Your children and grandchildren’s future depends on this election.

    Vote for the spender, with no real-world economics, and you will reap for future generations, what you sow. A lot of people will read this and deflect, arguing that Bush did this or that. Where I come from, two wrongs don’t make a right. A lot of other people believe in smaller government, more freedom and more personal responsibility. The left wing of the Democrat Party has called the Tea party wing of the Republican Party, “Racist Terrorists that can go to Hell.” The Fact of the matter is, we all come from different walks in life, are all of different colors and all believe in very simple principles. We want the government to get out of our lives as much as possible and we will take responsibility for our own actions. It’s amazing how much more expensive unnecessary government makes the everyday products we use. Don’t be fooled because he can read a Teleprompter. It is about his only job skill.
    (more)
  • Megan Hudson 2012/10/30 00:40:33
    Megan Hudson
    The reason why o think they didnt do much is because alot of people take politics super seriously and they basically trash each other the whole entire time and they use the debates to find whats wrong with the opposition instead of the good things. Theyre just too proud to say their opposite party did a good job and switch teams.
  • harley oldman 2012/10/29 23:43:25
    harley oldman
    It did`nt change anything for me.......obama same ole` lying prick.......And I`m damned well not thrilled with Romney...!
  • DDogbreath 2012/10/29 20:31:11
    DDogbreath
    +2
    It proved that neither one of them should be in office.



    Liberty Truth Gary Johnson
  • Ronulan3766 2012/10/29 19:09:19
  • Dan™: Real Change, Not Fals... 2012/10/29 16:16:42
    Dan™: Real Change, Not False Hope
    The first debate was the only one that actually mattered. In that debate the American people got to see the real Mitt Romney instead of the cartoon caricature of Romney that the Obama campaign was trying to push. It was decisive. Obama has failed and Mitt Romney will be the 45th President of the United States of America.
  • PoliticallyIncorrect 2012/10/28 23:32:16
    PoliticallyIncorrect
    +1
    I really don't think the debates did much other than let the polls hide their errors and catch up to where they should have already been to begin with. The numbers have been off from the beginning where I am. They were purposely trying to make it look as though Obamass was walking away with the election. If Americans are stupid enough to put him back into office, they deserve what he does to continue his destruction of America.
  • Derbyhat 2012/10/28 19:04:09
    Derbyhat
    +1
    It helped to expose Obama for more to see how ill-equipped he is for a low level executive position. He even can't tell the same story about events or his inept responses.

    Yes, Obama through the efforts of Navy Seals, got bin Laden, but he stood on the shoulders of George W. Bush or he would not have seen anything of bin Laden until he showed up at the White House, through the Mexican border. Obama did NOT build that!

    Yes, GM is alive, but minus how many stockholders, investors and dealerships?

    Yes, Obama widened the safetynet, but has spent too much to pull much of it in!

    Dispite hearing the real facts vs Obama talking points, some haven't and may never catch on to the fraud of Obama!
  • Embalmer 2012/10/28 16:33:49
    Embalmer
    The public?? LMAO - on SodaHead there is no "public," just inbred right wing misfits.
  • Politic... Embalmer 2012/10/28 23:29:27
    PoliticallyIncorrect
    No, I think there are a few liberal Obamawhores on SH too.
  • Embalmer Politic... 2012/10/29 15:59:47
    Embalmer
    +1
    You think? No you don't.
  • Politic... Embalmer 2012/10/29 20:09:39
    PoliticallyIncorrect
    I think and you don't think with the brain you have that's been Obama Embalmed. LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
  • Dan™: R... Embalmer 2012/10/29 16:19:42
    Dan™: Real Change, Not False Hope
    +1
    Typical jackass comment from a Leftwing imbecile.
  • Embalmer Dan™: R... 2012/10/29 18:25:29
    Embalmer
    I appreciate that!!
  • Dan™: R... Embalmer 2012/10/29 19:36:44
    Dan™: Real Change, Not False Hope
    +2
    I'm sure.
  • Megan H... Embalmer 2012/10/30 00:42:01
    Megan Hudson
    More people taking politics too seriously v.v
  • ArcticEnchantress 2012/10/28 16:07:29
    ArcticEnchantress
    +4
    Romney may not be everything that America wants in a president, but he is everything that America needs right now to bring back the glory of what America stands for.
  • Scott G... ArcticE... 2012/10/29 15:28:11
    Scott Gettle
    What would that be Christian Nationalism, Homophobia, Misogyny, and an endorsement of the culture of slut shaming victim blaming rape apologists?
  • Dan™: R... Scott G... 2012/10/29 16:21:45
    Dan™: Real Change, Not False Hope
    +1
    What the hell are you ranting about?
  • the spo... ArcticE... 2012/10/29 20:09:04
    the spoiler
    What does America in your eyes stand for ?
  • SK-pro scramnesty 2012/10/28 13:37:44
    SK-pro scramnesty
    The koolaid drinking libs are still sitting at the front window waiting for their obama check to come in the mail so he can pay their mortgage and gas. Dunces!! Meanwhile they still don't know who sheik obama is or what his policies that are destroying this nation are. They are clueless as to what socialism/statism/marxism is after decades of watching it fail in communist ridden countries.
  • Muscle Man 2012/10/28 13:25:52
    Muscle Man
    You know what else didnt change much?? My mom!!
  • Marshal Artz 2012/10/28 13:12:03
    Marshal Artz
    +1
    These debates are only worthwhile if you are a conservative and the media votes Romney to be the winner. Other than that they are not worth talking about. They were only gloating once out of three times.
  • garyt212 2012/10/28 06:39:28
    garyt212
    +2
    Didn't change at all, just reaffirmed that obama is a pathalogical liar and can't be trusted at all.
  • carlton999 2012/10/28 06:36:37
    carlton999
    Romney Attacked the first debate.

    They Attacked each other the second debate

    Obama Attacked the third debate.

    didnt change my mind.
  • Marshal... carlton999 2012/10/28 13:15:41
    Marshal Artz
    +1
    Romney Attacked the first debate. (and Obama took a nap)

    They Attacked each other the second debate

    Obama Attacked the third debate.

    didnt change my mind. (mine either)
  • Zee Black 2012/10/28 02:20:22
    Zee Black
    +3
    The debates were significant, It showed how Romney can flip flop from one day to the next. in some cases from one paragraph to the next. Vote for Romney and you are getting a puppet.
  • garyt212 Zee Black 2012/10/28 06:41:07
  • missaka garyt212 2012/10/29 15:06:29
    missaka
    U know he is still the president idiot ass
  • ShaunTh... missaka 2012/10/30 01:23:15
    ShaunTheMon
    +1
    Coming from someone who exchanges "you" for "U". What? Can't type a whole 2 extra letters?
  • Dan™: R... Zee Black 2012/10/29 16:24:12
  • missaka Dan™: R... 2012/12/01 02:53:50
    missaka
    First Romney he dose not deserve governor said he was going to take food stamp and then not who is filp - flopping now
  • Dan™: R... missaka 2012/12/01 19:25:07
    Dan™: Real Change, Not False Hope
    What? Do you speak the English language?
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