I watched the VP debate with a Boulder, Colorado, focus group, consisting of my relatives and neighbors. Except for me, none of them was considering voting for Bush. Some were confirmed Kerry voters, and others were undecided between Kerry and a third party (Nader or Green Party candidate David Cobb).
The verdict: two members of the focus group (one a solid Kerry vote, the other a solid Nader vote) were impressed with Edwards’ poise, and liked him more. The majority of the group, however, thought that Cheney outperformed Edwards. The former was solid, experienced, and comfortable in his job. The latter was glib, superficial, and platitudinous. The solid Kerry votes remain solid, while swing voters who were considering a third party are now more likely to vote third party, particularly because they found Edwards too aggressive on foreign policy and too pro-Israel.