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Trail Mix: Last week's OTHER debate

  • Obama has big lead ... in Chia sales
  • First poll numbers out after Denver debate
Trail Mix: Last week's OTHER debate

Want to know what's popping in campaign news? Meet our column "Trail Mix" -- your guide to the fun, the quirky, and, oh yeah, the news from the 2012 campaign.

The OTHER debate

It might not have quite the same implications for the future of our country, but there was another key debate last week: On Saturday, “The Rumble in the Air-Conditioned Auditorium” pitted Fox News host Bill O’Reilly against "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart. The two hosts faced off on topics ranging from the federal deficit to health care.

But don’t worry -- it wasn’t too heavy on serious political issues. Stewart’s opening line was “My friend Bill O’Reilly is completely full of…” (you can fill in the blank).

And just as in any debate, appearances mattered: To compensate for the significant height difference between Stewart and O’Reilly, Stewart stood on a mechanical lift behind his podium to raise him to O’Reilly’s level.

The debate was available for live-streaming on the internet for $4.95 (although technical glitches shut out some viewers) with half of the proceeds going to charity.


Some of the latest numbers in the campaign are great news for President Obama: He leads Mitt Romney 70% to 30%! But before Democrats get too excited they should know those numbers aren’t from a new national poll -- or any of the battleground states. They’re sales of Chias. (You know, the ceramic sculptures that you put seeds on so that greenery grows out of your favorite candidate’s head).

Joseph Enterprises, which makes Chias, helpfully reports that as of September 29, Obama enjoyed his sizeable lead based on sales online and at K-Mart stores. (So you’ll just have to wonder how the debate and job numbers will affect Chia sales). It turns out the company also makes Chia Gingrich and Chia Ron Paul, but both of them combined are responsible for less than 1% of sales.

Poll position: Post-debate edition

We’re starting to see the first poll results after Romney’s consensus victory over Obama in the first presidential debate last week. Gallup’s nationwide poll of registered voters showed a clear difference in opinion before and after Wednesday’s debate. During the three days before the Denver debate, Obama enjoyed a 50% to 45% lead, but during the three days after the debate, Obama and Romney were tied at 47% each.

Respondents also overwhelmingly favored Romney’s debate performance, with 72% saying he won the contest and only 20% saying Obama came out on top. That difference is the largest in Gallup history.

The Gallup poll is just one of many post-debate surveys expected this week. Be on the lookout for the latest round of swing state polls, which should give a better idea of how truly winnable the race is for either candidate. So far, the only battleground state results are from a University of Denver poll which shows Obama still ahead of Romney in Colorado by 47% to 43% even after the debate.

Must Reads:

Youtube: Taiwanese animators take on last week’s presidential debate

CNN: The Obamas celebrate their anniversary

Politico: “Jill Biden tiptoes into election”

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