I tuned into last night’s Presidential debate a bit early and watched it through to the end. I thought it was a lively debate, and as someone who has been interested in politics, I found it to be a very revealing example of what defines the United States. I try to remind myself that in many other countries this type of thing does not occur at all.
There were two things I saw portrayed on CNN’s coverage that confirmed a couple things I already knew. At one point, John King brought up a series of pie charts that depicted where the campaigns have spent money advertising in “battleground states.” These different pies showed the relative amounts and percentage expenditures the groups have spent, current up until last night. It was no surprise to me that the largest pie had Grand Junction, Colorado in the middle.
For the last few months, you cannot turn on the TV around here without seeing several campaign adverts running in succession. The type you are all familiar with: “Obama is a failure” followed by “Romney is a liar” followed by “the President is deceiving you” followed by “The Republicans are sinister.” One thing I’ve learned from these ads is the reason China has so many jobs that should be ours is the other guy’s fault.
Why I find it a bit surprising is that there are less than 150,000 people in this city. Even as the capital of the Western Slope; these ad can only be seen by half a million people, if that. Is this a really important segment of the nation’s population? I might believe it is a vital enough section that it could affect the outcome of the election, but apparently those that decide where and when these ads are run must vehemently believe this small portion of the country is very important, at least for now.
Another thing that I understood and saw confirmed is the live reactions of undecided voters during the debate. Throughout the debate, no mater what was being said, women consistently viewed Obama more favourably than men. Undecided men consistently gave Romney higher scores than the President. Although my experience is not really based on any type of scientific analysis, I can tell you anecdotally, that the only people around here I’ve heard say positive things about the President are women. I am no longer shocked to hear how many men in this part of the state seem to be outrageously hostile toward the President.
I won’t even begin to describe the various reasons I believe this trend exists and why it has been consistent for the three years I’ve lived here. It was interesting to see this gender distinction held up consistently, throughout the debate.
Feel free to add your observations below.