Why the Debates will help Obama

The news this week is that Democrats everywhere are hyperventilating in fear as John McCain has pulled ahead, or at least even, in most national polls.  Sure, I'm a little worried, but I really think the fundamentals remain firmly on Obama's side.  The Republican convention all but admitted this election is all about change.  That's a pretty tough argument for any Republican candidate to win. 

Furthermore, I think the debates will prove a real asset to Obama. They certainly seemed to reinvigorate Kerry's campaign last time around and the media's ridiculous jumping all over Al Gore for sighing, etc, pretty much did him in.  I think the debates offer the potential to really help Obama because debates are fundamentally about issues.  After the pander-fest that has been McCain's campaign for the past year, the truth is that Obama is significantly closer to the median American voter on most issues.  Thus, it makes sense why McCain's campaign manager recently claimed, “this election is not about issues.”  Thus, insofar as the debates can put the focus on issues this is to Obama's advantage.  I suspect that if you surveyed most Americans now, they would credit McCain with positions vastly more moderate than he has been campaigning on to win over the Republican base and than are now contained in the Republican platform.  I've been amazed at the reports I've heard of people claiming McCain is pro-choice, for example.  I certainly could be wrong on this, but I do think that the more voters learn about where McCain and Obama stand relative to each on the issues, the better this is for Obama.

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