March 10, 2016

Debate fatigue

Watching the Florida Republican debate tonight, I'm impressed that the tone is more civil, and that's predominantly because of Trump.  The other candidates have, with a few obvious exceptions, been more civil and it's not surprising to see them return to form.  Actually Trump's increased civility is not surprising either. He's leading and he's likely entered into the "don't make a mistake" phase of his campaign.  Civility supports that notion, and in fact may help him appear more presidential and garner him a few more marginal votes.

But what's becoming abundantly clear to me, as a political junkie no less, is that I'm starting to suffer from debate fatigue. It's not because of the tone of the debates.  It's not because of the Democratic party debates.  They're as awful as they always have been. What's driving it is after having seen dozens of debates, I've started feeling like I'm watching reruns.  The content from each candidate is truly repetitive.  Some of that is to be expected since the candidates want to ensure their specific messages are driven home with voters, especially casual-interest voters.  But for those of us watching each one, it's seeming more and more like an entrenchment of positions, and nothing is going to change in the polls if the debates don't contain some game changers.

Where are the details on new proposals?  Where are the new ideas or messages every week?

The reason I'm watching now, is not to learn anything new - debate fatigue has sunk in - but rather to witness the horse race and see who is making up or losing ground.  That's not the purpose of a debate, but it has become that way for me and I'm guessing I'm not alone in that.


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