Re: SwampCast

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Yes, I am “bedraggled.” Sorry. It had been a long day. It is, in fact, still going on. Am at the McCain MySpace/MTV forum. After a day of not-very-funny jokes about how he’d have to answer questions about, dunno, Britney. But almost all the questions haven’t been just serious, but about foreign policy. Oh, and global warming. All in all, it was a more substantive discussion than every single previous GOP debate combined. And they seem to really like his answers. See the live-polling here. And, it is incredibly unscientific but the numbers are thought-provoking. Before the debate started, the kids on the tubes were asked if McCain’s positions were more or less likely to make them vote for him:

Strongly agree 21
Somewhat more likely 15
Not sure but might 24

Not sure but I doubt it 10
Somewhat disagree 8
Strongly disagree 18

Same question, thirty minutes later:

Strongly agree 30
Somewhat more likely 22
Not sure but might 16

Not sure but I doubt it 6
Somewhat disagree 7
Strongly disagree 15

By the end of the forum — I’m still looking for the exact numbers — he had won over almost 80 percent of the audience. Not bad for an old guy who, as he said, “is older than dirt and has more scars than Frankenstein.” More to the point, a guy whose social views diametrically oppose what polls tell us are the emerging consensus of young people (who are pro gay rights, anti gun, pro choice, etc.). So how did he get them? MTV will have the forum up soon and you can investigate for yourself, but for now, I think the attraction is to someone who appears simultaneously dignified and irreverent, and whose answers never seem — even when they pretty much are — like partisan dogma. But they loved the ones that weren’t: He got applause for his responses on global warming (we should do something), torture (we shouldn’t do it), and Darfur (“Americans are tired of hearing ‘never again'”). Then he told them that we should stay in Iraq. They didn’t applaud, but at least they listened.