What to Make of the Third Presidential Debate

Bridget Verrekia ’18 – Inside Politics Participant

Prior to the third presidential debate taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada a few weeks ago, there was lots of political chatter.  People were still taking to social media to write about their distrust in Hillary Clinton due to her e-mail scandal or their lack of respect for Donald Trump because of his video the recently released video regarding “locker room banter.”  Even more importantly, it seemed as though a large majority of people still felt that they had no idea where the candidates stood on some issues.  Journalist Brendan Morrow wrote that “historically, the third debate tends to be the least-viewed of the three, with voters usually having seen enough by the conclusion of the second debate and with some not even making it past the first one.”  However, this was not the case for our 2016 third presidential debate.  In my college economics class, the day after each debate my professor has asked us to raise our hands if we watched it; the number of hands raised has stayed the same after every debate.  For this election, it seems like voters feel as though they cannot pick a candidate based off of his or her political plan and rather are choosing the candidate that offends them less.  People have tuned into all three debates hoping to see or hear one of the candidates do something that will drive them to want to go to the polls.

According to the website, before the third presidential debate, Hillary Clinton had about an 86% chance of winning the election and Donald Trump had about a 14% chance.  Following the debate, these percentages have stayed almost exactly the same.  Political scientists weighed in on the situation, claiming that in order for Trump to have a chance at winning he would need to pull out a large victory in the third presidential debate, but that did not seem to happen.  Both candidates showed the same cards they have been using and no large revelations were made.  Is it over for Donald Trump?  Only time will tell, as anything could happen within the next week. I think it is fair to conclude that there is not much to make of the third presidential debate.


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