If you watched the first presidential debate Tuesday night, you may have come to a similar conclusion as CNN's Dana Bash, who, for lack of a better term, called the event a "sh*tshow."
There was a lot of mudslinging, name-calling, and moderator-turned-debater Chris Wallace did not help matters at all, whether he was shutting down Trump, coming to Biden's rescue, or peddling lies about critical race theory and Trump's Charlottesville comments.
But what did the undecideds think of the debate? Pollster Frank Luntz held a virtual focus group with undecided voters from seven battleground states and some of their conclusions surprised him.
Asking the group to decide between supporting Trump and Biden after the debate, two said they backed the president, four said they were in the former vice president's camp, and nine were still undecided. For some, that meant not voting altogether.
This debate has actually convinced some undecided voters to not vote at all.— Frank Luntz (@FrankLuntz) September 30, 2020
I’ve never seen a debate cause this reaction. #Debates2020
If that holds true, Duane Patterson, producer of The Hugh Hewitt Show, argued that turning out one's base will be key, and Trump holds the advantage.
So maybe a method to the madness here. Trump's strategy of mud wrestling with Biden made Joe also look unattractive to any undecideds left. Luntz group said many undecideds wouldn't vote at all. That makes turning your base what will decide this election. Big advantage to Trump.— Duane Patterson (@Radioblogger) September 30, 2020