So let's see if I have this right...
Coming out of the debate, however, that margin has grown to 7.5 percentage points. The Conservatives nudged up to 35.3 per cent while the Liberals dropped a point to 27.8 per cent.
Jack Layton's New Democrats lost a bit of support following the debates as well, dropping to 18 per cent from 19.1 per cent, as did the Bloc Quebecois, which dropped to 7.1 per cent from 7.8 per cent.
Although Green party leader Elizabeth May was excluded from the leaders debate, her party crept up in support to 9.6 per cent from 9.0 per cent on the eve of the debate.
Pollster Frank Graves said the debates do not appear to have had a clear impact on voting intentions. Moreover, the bulk of the gains for the Conservatives appear to have come from western respondents — particularly in British Columbia, where the Conservatives went from 26.4 per cent on the eve of the debates to 33.3 per cent afterwards.
In seat-rich Ontario, however, the Conservatives have a bit more breathing room than they did going into the debate, but it is still a neck-and-neck race. On the eve of the debate, the Conservatives and the Liberals were virtually tied at 38 per cent to 37.8 per cent. After the debate, the Conservatives rose a bit to 38.8 per cent while the Liberals dipped to 36.6 per cent.
The Conservatives are the only party of the 4 that participated in the National debates that rose in the polls - and that pretty substantially, the rest dropped - and yet this pollster doesn't see the debates having had a clear impact on voting intentions? Isn't that what a poll is? Unless he's seeing something he's not telling - like the Conservative's numbers were going up anyways - it would appear that he's trying to downplay any increase by the Conservatives.
Then again, Mr. Graves was the one advising the Liberals to get into a "culture war". I wonder how that's working for him.