Map: How the Presidential Debates Effectively Changed Nothing About the Race

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
Nov. 8 2012 10:57 AM

Map: How the Presidential Debates Effectively Changed Nothing About the Race

Check out this map.

Screen shot 2012-11-08 at 10.51.46 AM

If you've been refreshing the electoral vote totals, it should look familiar. It has Barack Obama winning 332 electoral votes, narrowly taking Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado, while North Carolina looks like a tie that could go Romney's way.

This is the map that Electoral-Vote.com, a poll aggregator, produced on October 3 -- the day of the first presidential debate in Denver. In the next 33 days, for all of the campaign tumult, nothing changed. Barack Obama won exactly what he was projected to win.

I had a little fun with political scientists, like John Sides, who argued for weeks that debates don't swing close races. My apologies. They were right, and I was wrong.

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter. You can reach him at daveweigel@gmail.com, or tweet at him @daveweigel.