Tag Archive for 'NASCAR'

Small Business Advocate Poll: Presidential debates and NASCAR

For most of the history of televised presidential debates, we’ve watched them with the anticipation of auto racing fans - waiting for the next wreck. In the case of debates, a “wreck” is some kind of a “gotcha” by one candidate over the other, or a misstep by a candidate.

Presidential debate wrecks are the thing of legend: Richard Nixon sweating profusely in the 1960 debate with Jack Kennedy; Ronald Reagan’s “There you go again,” comment to Jimmy Carter in 1980; Reagan again in 1984 telling Walter Mondale he wouldn’t “hold his youth and inexperience against him”; and George H.W. Bush looking at his watch during a debate against Bill Clinton was considered a wreck to some in 1990. But perhaps the mother of all debate wrecks was when Dukakis’ 1988 running mate, Lloyd Benson t-boned Bush 41’s running-mate, Dan Quayle with the infamous, “You’re no Jack Kennedy” collision.

But all of the foregoing examples must now be considered penultimate presidential debate wrecks, because none of them approach the wipeout represented by the entire performance of Barack Obama in the first 2012 debate against Mitt Romney. In NASCAR terms, Obama’s 90 minute slow-motion wreck created what surely will become the Talladega Class of presidential debate wrecks. Not just because the President basically phoned-in his participation, but because of the way it reversed the momentum of the race like the leader of a NASCAR contest running out of gas a quarter-mile short of the checkered flag, handing the race to a driver who had previously never led a lap.

We wanted to know what our audience thought about race momentum after the first debate, so a couple of weeks ago, we asked this question in our online poll: “With less than a month before the presidential election, regardless of who you plan to vote for, who do you think will win?”

Those who chose Obama/Biden came in at 17%, and 20% said the race was “Still too close to call.” But the big group - 63% - projected that the Romney/Ryan ticket will prevail.

For generations to come, when political pundits handicap an impending presidential debate, any reference to whether debates matter - or the potential for a wreck by either of the candidates - the first reference will be to President Obama’s debate debacle on October 3, 2012 in Denver, Colorado.

The funny thing about momentum is it doesn’t belong to a political party or subscribe to an ideology. The good news for the President is that he still has one more debate to get back in the race. And if you’re like me, you’ll be watching. Because you never know when there could be another Talladega Class, presidential debate disaster.

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Take this week’s poll HERE!

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