Look for McGuinty’s ads to turn more negative – soon
Wow. I just watched the Ontario leaders’ debate, and Dalton McGuinty came off even worse than the carefully-lowered expectations set by his spinners. He was defensive, shrill, and looked like he was about to cry most of the time. He frequently “turtled” – looked down at his own chest to avoid the gaze of his opponents and the cameras. Even in the post-debate newser, McGuinty was nervous. It was not his night.
John Wright of Ipsos-Reid was on CP24 for the post-mortem, and all but said John Tory won the debate, though he may have gone over the top near the end. If Tory came off that way, it was primarily because McGuinty looked so weak and kept backing away from debating him. Wright also commended Tory for using his post-debate newser to keep driving his campaign messages.
Of course, much will depend on how the media spins the night, but I don’t see how McGuinty can salvage much from this. If they drop below the 40% poll figure they’ve managed to sustain thus far, they will start running ads that are more overtly negative than McGuinty’s current passive-aggressive sermons. When that happens, they will cede the moral high ground they’ve claimed for themselves. Then the real descent will begin.