The presidential candidates will be walking into a lion’s den tonight, forced to face those most dangerous of creatures: undecided voters. The town-hall debate could be a “snooze-fest,” writes John Dickerson on Slate, but there’s also a chance “Ponytail Guy”—the town-haller who famously befuddled George H.W. Bush in 1992—will show up. If that happens, John McCain could be in trouble.
The original Ponytail Guy’s question was a little silly—he said voters were symbolically the president’s children—but its message, a criticism of Bush’s negative, character-driven campaign, resonated. Voters have lots of material to ask pointed questions about—and when one pins you, you’re in trouble: “They can’t be ignored as easily as journalists,” Dickerson points out.