Lynn University professor looking to break his interview record on election night

Watson says campaigns tried to motivate their base voters in the final presidential debate

Published Oct. 30, 2012

Robert Watson, B.S., M.P.A., Ph.D.With the third and final presidential debate at Lynn University over, all eyes now turn to the presidential election on Tuesday, Nov. 6.  Robert Watson, professor of American Studies in Lynn’s College of Liberal Education, one of the foremost experts and authors on first ladies and presidents, and frequent political commentator, gave a record 43 interviews on the day of the debate. And he looks forward to tying that record on election night.

Watson provided “debate takeaways” for this year’s presidential and vice presidential debates and the one held at Lynn University was no exception.

In his latest debate takeaway commentary, he said, “Both campaigns began transitioning in the past few days from targeting undecided voters to trying to get their base out to vote. This was apparent during the 90-minute debate, when the candidates offered up ample servings of red meat for their core supporters knowing that whichever campaign turns out the vote will win.“ 

Watson felt that the outcome of the last debate will likely “not move the needle.”

“Either way, after the final debate, we find ourselves exactly where we were before the debate. This election will come down to the wire,” he said.

Shifting his focus from commentator to professor, Watson talks about a real takeaway for Lynn students. “Presidential elections, like national political issues, can be so large as to be overwhelming for students,” he said. “However, hosting the debate on campus allowed our students to experience this important election in a profoundly personal and tangible way.” 

The students met dozens of political leaders and network anchors and analysts. Many of his students had the chance to sit on the set of news shows, get pictures taken with leaders, and be interviewed by national and international media outlets.

“In short, they had a front-row seat to history in the making!” he said.

Watson also developed “Your Ballot in Plain English: A Guide to Florida’s 2012 Election,” to help familiarize people with the ballot and make the language more understandable for the average voter..

“It is very rare day when I am not out in the public discussing politics,” said Watson. And this Election Day will surely be no exception for the prolific political expert and historian, who in addition to the 43 debate day interviews gave more than 60 interviews in the days leading up to and following the debate, interviewing with outlets from those on our doorstep in Palm Beach County to as far away as China and Japan.

More on Watson

Robert Watson, a professor of American Studies at Lynn University, is one of the foremost experts and authors on first ladies, presidents, and Florida politics and voting issues. He has published 34 books and hundreds of articles and chapters and is a frequent media commentator for national as well as international outlets. Watson’s most recent book, The Obama Presidency, was published this past summer by SUNY Press.

Watson offers approximately 125 public lectures and town halls annually, serves as the political analyst for Palm Beach’s NBC affiliate (WPTV), and writes a Sunday column for the Sun-Sentinel newspaper, among other community and media activities.

He is frequently interviewed by local and national TV, print and radio media outlets, including CNN, MSNBC, USA Today and The New York Times, addressing topics surrounding the first ladies of today, yesterday and tomorrow, how history may judge former President Bush (and the war on terrorism), how past White House scandals have not affected the nation, the accomplishments and criticisms of President Obama, the deficit and other political issues and policies.

Watson can discuss presidents, first ladies, elections and campaigns, Florida politics, and Congress, among other topics.