North Jefferson News, Gardendale, AL

Opinion

October 24, 2012

Our Views: Debates give insight into candidates, but do they sway voters?

AN NJN EDITORIAL — Monday night’s presidential debate, the last of three scheduled for this year, featuring President Barack Obama and challenger Gov. Mitt Romney, pointed out the stark differences between the candidates. They have often provided for great theater, if not necessarily giving voters something to really chew on.

But the big question: Do these debates actually do anything to move the needle one way or another in the election itself?

The final answer will come on the first Tuesday in November, of course. But there is ample evidence that, at least in this election cycle, the debates — particularly the first one, which even most liberals agreed that Romney won — have mattered.

Before the first debate, Obama was ahead by about 2 percentage points in most major polls. Afterward, Romney had a pronounced bounce, with Monday’s Gallup poll of about 3,500 likely voters showed a seven-day moving average of 51 percent of voters favoring the former governor, and 45 percent for the president. (Other polls had a smaller Romney lead or a dead heat.)

The challenger largely kept his lead after the second “town hall” debate, which was widely regarded as either a draw or a slight win for Obama. Opinions after the final debate are still being sampled.

The most important thing that these debates provide are an unfiltered view into the two candidates. No editorial opinions (like ours), no campaign commercials, no barrages of attack ads funded by so-called super-PACs, no spin. Just two men duking it out politically — though it seemed at times they would duke it out physically in the town hall debate.

It is political discourse in its purest form, if not always its finest.

So now they’re done, and we’re left with a sprint to the finish. A week from Tuesday, and we’ll vote to keep our current president, or to replace him. We hope you are earnestly considering your choice.

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Opinion
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    When I started working for the newspaper 10 years ago, no one asked me why I did it. It was a good career move and I wanted to be a professional; I wanted to move up in the world.
    But as time went on and people started offering me other jobs, I stayed true to my position as office manager of the North Jefferson News. It’s become a part of my being. Just about anyone who knows me, knows that I work for the newspaper. They usually don’t have a clue as to what I actually do here, but they know that if they need me, I can be reached at the newspaper office.

    August 19, 2014

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    Did any other parents spend the entire last week of summer trying to fit in a whole summer’s worth of activities?

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  • Danielle Cater: New school year hard on mom

    Did any other parents spend the entire last week of summer trying to fit in a whole summer’s worth of activities? There were so many things that we wanted to do with our daughters before school started back and they all seemed to get put off until the very last minute.

    August 6, 2014

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    I’ve often said that one shouldn’t be ashamed of their age; getting older sure beats the alternative.

    August 4, 2014

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    July 28, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Bass fishing is just in my blood

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    July 21, 2014

  • Danielle Cater: Making memories not that hard

    Do you spoil your kids? Do you spend enough on them? What really matters when it comes to the well-being of your children? These questions are real doozies and I think the answers vary according to the family.

    July 9, 2014

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    The caps and gowns are ordered, the invitations have been mailed. Checks are being written all across the country, it must be graduation time.

    May 29, 2014

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    May 27, 2014