• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Presidential Debates.

Extracts from this document...


Jeremiah Johnson Dr. Wilson October 20, 2004 Directed Study Presidential Debates Presidential debates are a modern television age creation. The nominees of the two major parties did not debate until 1960, when Republican candidate Richard Nixon faced challenger John Kennedy, the junior Democratic Senator from Massachusetts. This first debate helped Kennedy win the presidency because his youth and vitality showed through the television, and he seemed more energetic and enthusiastic than Nixon. Although the 1960 debates were popular with the public and broadcast nationally on network television, presidential debates took a hiatus until 1976. Their absence is due, for the most part, to incumbents refusing to debate and laws that required equal time for all presidential candidates, even minor ones. Since 1976, the television networks have used an interesting loophole to get around the equal time law. ...read more.


Sometimes, however, the debates do more than reflect the national mood, sometimes the debates can swing an election one way or the other. The 2004 election seems to fit into this category. The planned debates include three debates between George Bush and John Kerry, and one debate between Dick Cheney and John Edwards. Going into the first debate, Bush held a large lead, reported at around 8-11% by most reports, the most common report saying that Bush led 52% to 44% for Kerry. However, after the first debate, polls showed a statistical tie. Kerry unanimously won the first debate, due to his clear explanations of his positions and Bush's clear annoyance at the podium. For weeks Kerry had been hounded as unable to decide on a position on many topics, and the debate gave him a chance to stand in front of the public and clarify many of his stances, which benefited him enormously. ...read more.


All significant polls showed that the second debate was a draw, and the third debate played out much in the same way. Both candidates were aggressive in pointing out the other's flaws, and results were split as to who won the debate, with a slight edge going to Kerry (nowhere near the victory he scored in the first debate, however). Overall, the debates this year benefited Kerry far more than Bush. The surveys before the debates showed Bush with a sizable lead, but once Kerry got the chance to defend his record and his stances, he took advantage and the race tightened to a dead heat, where it remains as we speak. During this election year we have been fortunate to have had debates that do more than reflect national sentiment. The debates this year clearly changed the public perception of Kerry, and should Kerry win the debates will have had a crucial role in his victory. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level United States section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work