This is it. The final sprint to the November election has begun. But, even with just a couple months to go, there are still some questions yet to be answered that will have a big impact on the final vote. 1. Will the debate matter? Earlier this summer, I predicted Trump would not participate in the debates. Obviously, I was wrong. A part of me, however, wonders if he will show up for all three. Normally, we give debates more credit than they deserve. The role that debates played in Kennedy-Nixon and Reagan-Carter are overly romanticized. Obama’s poor first debate did not fundamentally alter the trajectory of the 2012 race. ABC’s Gary Langer dug through the data and found little empirical evidence that a debate has “changed” a race. Of course, relying on historical trends is dangerous in a year like this. We have the two most unpopular candidates in modern history, an uber polarized electorate and many voters who say they are voting not for the candidate they like the most, but the one they dislike least. Those expecting
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