Yes, I’ve been harping on the debate format for years. We should be reading well thought out ideas, not relying on bursts of noise.
A few examples of the flaws in the debate system...
> Reagan had one debate were he came off looking like an old confused man with demential. That was followed by another debate or two) where he came off looking sharp, controlled, "presidential", etc. As it turns out he did have alzheimer's later in life, though the odds are that his one bad performance was at worst the very early stages and more likely just a very bad day. The point being that had his follow up debate performances be mediocre, he could well have lost the election (something some people, even many Republicans of the time) would not have lost any sleep over.
> Nixon vs Kennedy. Nixon had a very bad performance, which pretty will ruined his run for office. Had Nixon won, many things in our history would most likely be different... from Vietnam to Watergate.
> Trump vs Clinton... (blah blah blah)
Now, each of those candidates (& their political parties) had "platforms" that were easy to access, read, review, compare to "reality"... easy to compare to one's own political belief system.
But we American like the "reality show".... the melodrama... we like to view "our guy" and put our own bias on why "our guy" won... and if a candidate slips up during a debate, sometimes even for a moment, they are doomed.
The thing is, some people are better at "performance" and others are better at "function"....