Facts, Voters and Bad Behavior

Jonathan Bernstein is a Bloomberg View columnist. He taught political science at the University of Texas at San Antonio and DePauw University and wrote A Plain Blog About Politics.
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1. Dave Hopkins on the debate. Two points on this: One is that I largely agree with Hopkins that it’s dicey to extrapolate debate performance to how a president would act in office. And yet I pretty much did that -- despite my usual reluctance -- in my own debate wrap. Why? Because it confirmed a pattern (of Donald Trump’s temperament, along with his reluctance to learn the substance of public policy) that we’ve seen throughout the campaign -- and confirmed it in the one place during the campaign where the incentives were strongest to behave differently. The second point is that while I think he’s correct that Democrats were partially successful in “working the refs” and pushing moderator Lester Holt to be a bit tougher, fact checkers found plenty of Trump factual mistakes that no one challenged (along with a smaller number for Hillary Clinton). Where that leaves us is less clear, but the main point several people have made is that Trump’s approach to facts is different, and reporters should question whether their norms are appropriate for how he behaves.

2. Dan Drezner on the debate.

3. Mindy Romero at the Los Angeles Times on Latino voters in California.

4. Lily Rothman at Time on the history of voter registration.

5. The Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell scolds the current Republican-controlled Congress for its inept behavior this year. Well deserved.

6. Lydia DePillis at the Houston Chronicle on where Clinton and Trump think economic growth comes from.

7. Alex Massie at the Spectator on the debate.

8. And Matt Yglesias on what makes Clinton good at debates. I’m with Yglesias, not Massie, on the main point here, which is that Clinton is very good at this format.

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To contact the author of this story:
Jonathan Bernstein at jbernstein62@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story:
Brooke Sample at bsample1@bloomberg.net