Wednesday, October 13, 2004

# Posted 1:30 PM by Ariel David Adesnik  

TONIGHT'S DEBATE COULD BE MINOR, IRRELEVANT FACTOR IN RACE: The top headline on the WaPo homepage reads: "Tonight's Debate Could Be Pivotal Factor in Race." The article's actual headline is far more sensible (and boring): "On Debate's Eve, Campaigns Hone Message".

Now, if the first debate between Kerry and Bush played a crucial role in reviving the challenger's hopes, how can I be so sure that tonight's debate won't matter at all? Well, I'm not actually sure, but I think that all the indications are that it will be anything but pivotal.

After his embarrassing performance in the initial debate, Bush seemed to regain his composure during last Friday's rematch. Is it possible that Bush will break down again under pressure? Possible, yes. Likely, no.

The real question is whether Bush will make one or two critical gaffes that give Kerry an opening to hit hard during the final days of the campaign. That is eminently possible.
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