ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Tuesday night’s Presidential candidate’s debate could very well be one exclusively for the undecided voter.
Washington University Drama Professor Henry Schvey says anyone tuning in for information from the candidates has likely already made up their mind.
So, he says, it will be an audience of undecideds who will be watching for presentation, speech patterns and non-verbal responses.
“The undecided voter is going to be more likely swayed by things that involve trust, self assurance, assertiveness and aggression.” said the professor “this is more T.V. drama than a debate.”
He says the town hall forum may favor President Obama because its conducive to a more casual, academic style.
He says it wont be what they say, but how they say it.
“People who are tuning in for the content probably have already made up their minds, so its the non-verbal element thats actually more important at this point” said Professor Schvey.
Then there is television’s split screen, which Professor Schvey says has changed the dynamics of debates.
“For example the president looking down to write notes when Governor Romney was speaking, or Governor Romney’s smile or Paul Ryan’s quasi smirk during Joe Biden’s speech verses Joe Biden’s gleaming white teeth or laughing.” said the professor.
There is also whats called the “rope-a-dope” strategy. The terms comes from the famous boxing match between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman in Manila.
Professor Schvey says “it’s allowing to use an overly aggressive opponent to punch themselves out and to then flip, and become the aggressor at a tactical moment.”
That tactical moment for Obama, says professor Schvey, is Tuesday night , coming off Mitt Romney’s aggressive performance in the first debate.
KMOX will carry the debate live beginning at 8 P.M. (St. Louis time) Then KMOX’s John Hancock and Mike Kelly will discuss the debate and take listener’s calls.