My Opinion of the September 26 Presidential Debate

Monday night’s presidential debate was possibly the most anticipated of the 21st century, and it was the first presidential debate I have watched (not counting the earlier primary debates), and, unsurprisingly, there isn’t the most clear consensus on who “won” the debate. From my first viewing, it seemed clear to me that Hillary Clinton smashed Trump at the debate. I even forgot about the first forty minutes of the debate in which Trump slammed Hillary Clinton, and instead went to sleep Monday night with the view that Hillary Clinton had crushed Donald Trump. It bored me to listen about Trump’s tax returns and his buildings that he had built. Does the average voter care about that? Do I care about that? No! While Trump was fumbling, Hillary Clinton was able to shine as the more “presidential” candidate. To simplify Hillary’s performance, it was organized, about-the-issues, coherent, and more polished than that of her opponent’s. This actually was the one thing that made me initially conclude that Hillary Clinton won the debate. However after reading a bunch of debate analyses, re-watching most of the debate, and doing some basic research, I have reached a different conclusion.

As I re-watched the debate to get a better view of who actually won, it seemed that Trump was more successful than a first glance may have shown. For one, he had slammed Hillary Clinton on key issues such as fighting ISIS, Clinton’s wasted time while in the U.S. government, and so on, not for the first twenty or thirty minutes, but actually the first forty minutes of the debate. However, as soon as Trump started rambling on about non-important issues, the debate was Hillary’s game. If Trump had kept going on the trend that he had been on in the first forty minutes of the debate, then he may have won. He also failed to answer many questions in the later part of the debate, which was a bigger negative. However at the second to last question, he had stated that although Hillary Clinton had experience, she had bad experience. However since Clinton had an earlier statement with the same effect, the effects of both can be negated. So by now you can see my conclusion. The first presidential debate had no clear winner. Each candidate had a different part of the debate to shine in, Trump in the early debate, and Hillary in the late debate.

So where did Hillary screw up? Well for one, Clinton never made as good of an attack as Trump. Clinton could have been more offensive and had made a crushing attack on Trump, but she didn’t. Another flaw on the part of Clinton was her constant referencing of fact-checkers. This helps only her base and a minority among independents, since, according to a recent Gallup poll, only 30% of independents trust the mainstream media. She even referenced her own website for fact-checking! Who, besides a Clinton supporter, would even consider using for checking facts? In addition, Hillary Clinton may not have seemed as sincere as she would’ve liked. There seemed to be a slight bit of sincerity in Hillary, but only on a first watch did I find this.

Overall I think that the most anticipated night of 2016 (so far) was a big blowout. Neither Trump nor Clinton seemed to really take command of the stage for the whole debate. Instead we got a powerful Trump-dominated opening, followed by a long, drawn-out Clinton late period that made Trump look bad, but didn’t make Hillary look much better. My guess for those undecided voters’ views is that many would still remain sketchy concerning both candidates.