Recap and reaction of the first 2016 presidential debate
September 27, 2016
Last night the first presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton took place at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York. This debate was the most watched in American history, with 84 million viewers tuning in.
The program featured fiery attacks from both candidates that seemed to overwhelm moderator Lester Holt, many commented. Viewers were surprised by the heated tone of the debate and expected something more mild.
“I thought it would be more civil than it was,” junior Abigail Santiago said. “Trump was interrupting. She was making jokes and roasting him a lot. It was petty.”
Besides the tone of the debate, viewers criticized what was actually discussed during the proceedings. While Holt’s questions covered a wide range of topics including economics, terrorism, race and foreign relations, the audience pointed out that both candidates avoided the key points of many questions.
“They didn’t actually answer the questions,” junior Patrick Tesmond said. “They didn’t talk about what was actually asked.”
According to an average of recent polls from Real Clear Politics, Clinton is leading Trump by 2.4 points as of Sep. 27, 2016. Yet asking viewers about the candidates’ persuasiveness paints a blurrier picture of the debate’s results.
“Neither candidate won the debate,” Tesmond said. “I don’t think Trump won any new voters but I don’t think his behavior lost him any voters. Hillary did what was expected.”
Santiago was also underwhelmed by the candidates’ debate skills and strategies and felt unsure of who won.
“I don’t know who the better debater was,” Santiago said. “They weren’t the best.”
For those who are still undecided in this election or disappointed by last night’s debate, the candidates go head-to-head for the second time on Oct. 9 at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri at 9 to 10:30 p.m. EST.