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Presidential Debate or Battle of the Sexes?

In case you were hibernating under that rock of yours, here is a recap of the Presidential debate that occurred last Monday night, September 26th. Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee and first female to appear in a Presidential debate, faced off Republican nominee, Donald Trump. Afterwards, it was unanimously argued that Hillary Clinton “won” the debate. A YouGov poll published on Tuesday found that 57% of the people who watched the debate thought that Clinton won and 30% thought that Trump won, with 13% remaining unsure of who the victor was. It is important to take into consideration the fact that there can be bias associated with online polls.

The three topics discussed at the debate were labeled as, “America’s Direction,” “Achieving Prosperity,” and “Securing America.” Within these included issues regarding immigration, national security, trade, domestic terrorism, the economy, health care, and crime and race. Lester Holt, the moderator for the debate, created the questions, which were frequently averted by both candidates. When Trump was asked about his unreleased tax returns, he veered into a discussion of Clinton’s email scandal. When Clinton was asked about these emails, she, in turn, called on Trump to release his tax returns. Holt often persisted in these cases. He repeatedly asked Trump, for example, to explain why he had recently changed his mind about Barack Obama being born in the United States.

This debate was unusually confrontational, which is exactly what spectators were looking for. By all traditional standards of debate, Hillary Clinton killed it. She carefully marshaled her arguments and facts and then sent them into battle with a smile. She rolled out a long list of indictments against Donald Trump, often damaging ones. By contrast, Trump entered unprepared, had nothing fresh to say and increasingly gave way to rants. When the evening ended, the media buried him in criticisms.

It would seem logical to assume that Hillary Clinton has locked up this race at this point. However, as with most of this presidential election, Trump supporters are not judging him based on traditional standards. They have continuously stated that they support Donald Trump simply because they crave something different than an established politician who over promises and under delivers. Trump may have been an angry figure in the debate, but he was also giving a voice to his supporters’ anger.

Hillary Clinton, the first woman ever to take the Presidential debate stage in a general election, has come to represent the comic figure of the overqualified woman tackling high levels of sexism. Following the evening, in a debate after show, it was argued that Clinton seemed, “over-prepared.” With 41 days to go, the election still seems to be centered more on representation than on ideology. The debate offered to viewers a wrestling match or a battle of the sexes, similar to that of a reality TV show. It shouldn’t be surprising then, that this was the highest rated Presidential debate in history.

In case you’re looking for more drama, the Vice Presidential Debate will take place on Tuesday, October 4th with Senator Tim Kaine of Virginia facing off against Governor Mike Pence of Indiana. The second Presidential debate will take place on Sunday, October 9th, 2016. Stay tuned.

Sources:

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/09/26/us/politics/presidential-debate.html

https://today.yougov.com/news/2016/09/27/57-viewers-say-clinton-won-first-debate/

I am currently a Junior at Bucknell University studying Political Science and Italian. I hope to one day write informational political pieces for a news reporting agency. When I'm not watching netflix or reading current event I can be found snuggling with my dog.
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