STEVEN H. CHAFFEE, University of Wisconsin: The paper is fascinating, and I am going to use it and quote you a great deal. I want to ask you about something you rather glossed over. In the period between the convention and the debates, Ford picked up a lot of votes. Immediately after the convention, Ford issued the challenge. Did you get any data to indicate that the issuance of the challenge produced new support? Ford seemed to pick up a lot in that period, and yet you state that "the debate challenge satisfied our need to mount an aggressive comefrom-behind campaign." Do you have any evidence on that?
CHENEY: No, I don't. The only data I have seen on the subject would be the work Bob Teeter did in connection with the campaign in 1976, and I don't believe he has anything that would indicate specifically why we closed as fast as we did in September.
I would not overemphasize the role of the debates. From the standpoint of the Ford campaign, we had really two general targets or areas of concern. One was the impact of the debates on the voters. The other was the impact on what I have generally referred to as "campaign dynamics." Ford's acceptance speech in Kansas City clearly was a major plus for the campaign. We thought it was good enough that we paid to rerun it again later on television. Other positive factors were that we left Kansas City having maintained effective, if somewhat tenuous, control of the convention; the acceptance address was a success; the Reagan challenge was over; and Jimmy Carter spent his time, in July and August, down in Plains planning the fall campaign and draining the fish pond.
All those things were working for us as we moved into September, so that we got the result we had anticipated at the outset. But I could not say that the closing of the gap between late July and early September, or even late September, was due specifically to the debate challenge. The debate challenge was important because it let us acquire a posture of going on the offensive as we came out of Kansas City, even though we were some thirty points behind and even though