Bush did not quite “shit the bed” as Kerry’s advisers were hoping, but he didn’t do a good job. He stuttered, he was angry, and he was preachy. He even tried to be “professorial” about North Korrea (why does Bush need a permission slip from China to defend America?). Kerry was succinct and clear.
Three polls show Kerry won. We know that much. Now what?
Kerry had to win to survive. The reason this race was important is that voters prefer Kerry on almost every domestic issue; foreign policy was supposed to be Bush’s strong suit. And while a better performance in the next debates might provide a great spin-line, it won’t change as many minds as this one.
Kerry should take the lead in the horse-race polls with in 7 days, and eek out a slim electoral lead.
The DNC is much more well prepared for the spin-dynamics this time around, hopeful this at least neutralizes the other side’s games, and at best sets the storyline.