“As the Democratic Presidential candidates gather for yet another debate\0x2014 this time in Charleston, South Carolina \0x2014some may be wondering if it’s worth the effort. This is the fourth candidate debate of the season and nothing has changed since the first one ended. In fact, polling has shown an incredibly stable race,” Rasmussen said in an analysis released today.
The debates have had little impact partly because there have been few surprises and largely because only hard-core political junkies are watching. Those watching the debates are also following news of the campaigns in other forums as well. Only a major gaffe or startling policy pronouncement will break through the news clutter and impact the general public’s view of the race.
disagreed with Rasmussen
“The YouTube debates could fundamentally change the dynamics of politics in America, giving a voice to the people, letting us be heard by the powerful and the public, enabling us to coalesce around our interests and needs, and even teaching reporters who are supposed to ask questions in our stead how they should really do it.\
The debates could also demonstrate that democracy is in good hands, that we care, we are smart, we are informed. Too often, that’s not the PR we, the people, get. We’re masses who don’t know and don’t give a [expletive deleted]. But that’s not the people you see in the vast majority of YouTube’s 2,000-plus debate questions.\
Finally, the debates could begin to change the relationship between candidates and voters. Campaigns always have been and still are all about control, about handing down a message, about the appearance of listening.”
— Brandon Leonard, intern, The Washington Times