The poll numbers are in after the debate. That's the subject of this evening's "Talking Points Memo."
A new ABC News (search) poll and a "Newsweek" (search) poll both say Americans believe John Kerry won the debate by a decisive margin, but the polls diverge on what that means. ABC has Bush ahead, 51-46. "Newsweek" has Kerry running ahead of Mr. Bush, 47-45. The Gallup (search) poll out today has raised tide at 49 each. But the new Zogby poll (search) also out today has the president ahead 46-43. So obviously things are fluid as they say.
But most analysts believe President Bush must do well on Friday in St. Louis if he wants to regain momentum. The fundamental issues in the campaign remain the same. President Bush believes the invasion of Iraq was justified because Saddam was involved with international terrorism, and his ability to manufacture deadly weapons and give them to the terrorists posed a grave threat to America.
Senator Kerry also believes Saddam was a threat but that Mr. Bush rushed to war and botched the aftermath. Kerry said he would be able to straighten things out in Iraq, getting other nations like France and Russia to help us.
On the economic front, the president says his across the board tax cuts lifted the country out of a recession that was not his making, and that unemployment is under control. Kerry says the economy is soft.
Those are the two big differences in this campaign. And of course, you will be the final judge of who's right and who's wrong. Over the next four weeks, we will see some pretty nasty stuff as this race is knot tight. And we hope "The Factor" will be your source for what is real and what is spin.
And that's "The Memo."
The Most Ridiculous Item of the Day
It's hard to believe that some left-leaning publications are actually mocking my new book, "The O'Reilly Factor for Kids." It doesn't matter because the book's flying out of the stores and Web sites. But come on. I know you guys are "Kool-Aid people" and you don't like me, but anyone reading this book would know it would help any American child who reads it.
There comes a point where partisan hatred gets ridiculous in this country, and we are — in America have reached that point. If there's something good for kids in an age of Internet garbage, gangsta rap and a libertine attitude towards sex and drugs then anyone denigrating a positive product should be ashamed.
—You can watch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" and "Most Ridiculous Item" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the FOX News Channel. Send your comments to: email@example.com