Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Matthew Santos wins "West Wing" Debate

From MSNBC.com: "Rep. Matt Santos, D-Texas, edged out Sen. Arnold Vinick, R-Calif., in Sunday night's live fictional “West Wing” debate, according to a post-debate Zogby International-MSNBC.com poll.

The snap poll of the show's viewers who had participated in a pre-debate MSNBC/Zogby poll was conducted immediately after Sunday night’s debate. And while participants gave Santos (Jimmy Smits) the victory (54 percent to 38 percent), Vinick (Alan Alda) made gains on the Democratic congressman. In the pre-debate poll, 59 percent favored Santos while 29 percent liked Vinick. And while viewers thought Santos won the live debate, he didn't necessarily seem more presidential. Santos narrowly edged Vinick on the question of who appeared more presidential (42 to 39 percent with 15 percent calling it a tie).

Despite Vinick's gains, almost 81 percent of those polled said the debate did not change their preference in the election."

From the Washington Post:
"After watching the live debate between Jimmy Smits's Rep. Matt Santos (D-Tex.) and Alan Alda's Sen. Arnold Vinick (R-Calif.) on "The West Wing," young viewers have changed their minds about the two faux candidates and want Alda in the White House.

Viewers 65 and older, however, came out strong for Santos, according to a survey by pollster Zogby International conducted right after Sunday's broadcast on NBC.
For a network that chases young viewers exclusively but has seen its median age spring forward by nearly three years in one season -- from 46.4 to 49.2 years -- this ought to stop the suits in their tracks. Particularly since the network made it fairly clear it intend to put Smits in the Oval Office (his face, but not Alda's, is featured in the group mug shot on the home page of NBC's "West Wing" Web site, for instance.)
Before the episode, viewers between 18 and 29 preferred Santos over Vinick, 54 percent to 37 percent. But after the debate, in which veteran Alda gutted pretty-boy Smits without him even knowing it, Vinick now leads among viewers under age 30, 56 percent to 42 percent.

(Among viewers 65 and older -- or, as TV execs like to call them, the Irrelevantest Generation -- Santos has a lead of 68 percent to 27 percent.)

Also switching camps were men, whom the networks have a harder time attracting than women and therefore chase harder. (The TV industry is a lot like dating: If you hang around a lot, the suits ignore you; play hard to get, they chase you with a passion.)

Among men, Vinick now leads with 55 percent to Santos's 39 percent.

Women were the only ones who did not change their minds after watching Alda fillet his opponent. Before the debate, women came out very strong for ever-so-handsome Smits/Santos; post-debate, they were just as pro-Santos, 68 percent to 23 percent. Really, why did they give women the vote?"

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