Final Debate: Who Won?

Samantha Hayes – Hempstead, New York

The big question now that the last debate is in the history books, is whether John McCain delivered a performance that can drastically change the trajectory of his campaign, or whether Barack Obama sealed the deal with voters.  If it’s not obvious, then neither probably happened.  The candidates debated each other passionately, that is certain. A few memorable exchanges focused on negative campaigning, trade policies, health care, and lot of talk about who had the better tax policy for a guy named “Joe the Plumber.”

With less than three weeks to go until the election, the debate was seen as the last big opportunity for both candidates to convince voters who are struggling to make up their minds.  The challenge is far greater for McCain, who is 8 points behind Obama in the latest CNN poll of polls.  But that margin hardly tells the whole story. The number that matters is 270.  It takes 270 electoral votes to become the President and CNN is estimating that Barack Obama may have reached that threshold, if polls in battleground states hold.  Compounding the problem for McCain, is the defensive position he has to play with formerly solid Republican states like North Carolina and Virginia, the latter CNN has placed in the “leaning Obama” column, which means Virginia could win him the White House on November 4th.  If that happens, it would be a stinging defeat for the Republicans to lose to Obama on what has long been considered home turf.  Virginia has been in the GOP column for the past 44 years.

McCain has fought to keep his campaign alive before, and as anyone in politics will tell you, three weeks is enough time for something to happen that can change the race, it’s just not very likely.

Samantha Hayes is a national correspondent for CNN Newsource based in Washington, D.C. She contributes political stories to KSAT-12. You can learn more about her here.

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One Comment on “Final Debate: Who Won?”

  1. It’s all over but the crying, so let’s move on the the Obama Cabinet:

    Secretary of State: Christopher Dodd, senior statesman
    Treasury Secretary: Paul Krugman, Nobel prize in economics
    Secretary of Defense: Wesley Clark, clear vision in Iraq
    Homeland Security: Richard Clark, counter-terrorism expert fired by Bush just before 9/11
    Attorney General: Henry Waxman, investigated abuses by Bush cabinet
    Press secretary: David Gregory, one of the few reporters with real questions
    Senior White House Advisor: David Gergen, expert analyst
    Chief of Staff: Dennis Kucinich, great idea man

    On the lighter side:

    Veterans Affairs: Cindy Sheehan
    Housing & Urban Development: Al Sharpton
    Special Assignments:
    – Karl Rove, Envoy to Zimbabwe
    – Rush Limbaugh, Envoy to Somalia
    – George Bush, new solid waste management czar

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