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Both campaigns declared victory in last night's debate between Vice President Joe Biden and Rep. Paul Ryan, with Democrats focusing on Biden's passion and Republicans focusing on Biden's aggression. Neither acknowledged that it is a futile point.
Immediate polls from CBS, NBC, and Xbox Live all reported that a majority of undecided voters believed Biden won, and the prediction markets ticked up a few points in President Barack Obama's favor in the hours after the confrontation. The Signal couldn't care less. The question pollsters should have asked was this: Is Obama still bleeding?
Sources: Betfair, Intrade, HuffPost's Pollster, and RealClearPolitics
As we have pointed out before, every day that elapses in which GOP challenger Mitt Romney does not gain ground on the incumbent is a net gain for the Democrats. (This is true for any challenger in any election.) In the past week, Romney has succeeded in that battle, effectively turning an unequivocal debate victory into a steady march in the polls. The instant polls and market movement suggest Biden succeeded in diverting that narrative.
David Rothschild has a Ph.D. in applied economics from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. Follow him on Twitter at @DavMicRot.