Days Until Bush Leaves Office = 630
Following last week’s debate in South Carolina, I put up a poll to explore whether the event succeeded in changing viewer opinions about whom to support for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. The short answer is: No.
By an overwhelming ratio of more than seven to one, poll respondents said the debate didn’t change their minds about which candidate to support. Out of 171 responses to the question, “Did the South Carolina Debate Change Your Mind?,” there were 150 “no’s” and only 21 “yes’s,” or about 87.72% No, 12.28% Yes. Further, respondents who said they were uncommitted coming into the debate were outnumbered by respondents who said they already supported one candidate over the others by 77 to 94 (45% to 55%, a 10 point margin of committed over uncommitted), suggesting that changing minds would be an uphill battle in any case.
The results suggest that the top three candidates held their ground, while the others didn't gain much traction.
This poll, of course, isn’t scientific, and, like everything else at this point in the cycle, the results probably come far too early to be conclusive about the direction things might take in the run-up to next year’s electoral contests. Nonetheless, these results do provide an interesting snapshot of where respondents are at the moment, and how effective debates are likely to be in swaying opinions.
For the “No” side, the numbers break down as follows:
- Out of 150 responses –
- 66 (44%) said they were uncommitted before the debate, and remained so afterwards.
- 84 (56%) said they were already committed to a particular candidate before the debate, and remained so afterwards.
For the “Yes” side, the numbers break down as follows:
- Out of 21 responses –
- 11 (52.38%) were uncommitted, and ended up picking a candidate based on the debate.
- 8 (38.10%) actually switched their support from one candidate to another based on the debate.
- 2 (9.52%) were committed to a particular candidate, but ended up uncommitted afterwards.
Full results are available here.