But I would suggest the system isn't the same today. Mass media has changed the dynamics and made it quite a bit different. And i woudl argue we have changed. We have short attention spans. KNow how long the first Linclon-Dougless debate was?
The format for each debate was: one candidate spoke for 60 minutes, then the other candidate spoke for 90 minutes, and then the first candidate was allowed a 30-minute "rejoinder." The candidates alternated speaking first. As the incumbent, Douglas spoke first in four of the debates.
Can you imagine an audience today sitting through it? Listening to all? Understanding the fine points?